SF woman pleads not guilty in crash that killed 16-year-old

Jennie Zhu plead not guilty in the crash that killed a 16-year-old boy.

A 58-year-old San Francisco woman pleaded not guilty Thursday to felony gross vehicular manslaughter and reckless driving charges in connection with a crash that killed a 16-year-old boy in September.

Jennie Zhu was arraigned in San Francisco Superior Court on the manslaughter charge and two felony counts of reckless driving causing injury after reportedly hitting a car on Pine and Gough streets on the morning of Sept. 27.

Zhu allegedly went through multiple stoplights before rear-ending a minivan. Kevin San, a Lincoln High School student, was killed and his mother and sister were injured in the crash. Zhu was arrested on the charges last Friday night but has since posted $300,200 bail.

She walked into the courtroom wearing large sunglasses and a blue scarf wrapped tightly around her neck, with her husband, son and daughter surrounding her. In court Thursday afternoon, Assistant District Attorney Ana Gonzalez did not request an increase to the bail amount, allowing Zhu to remain out of custody.

Zhu and her family declined to comment outside of court after she pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Her defense attorney, Alfredo Vea Jr., said outside of court that Zhu and her family are “devastated by the death of a young man” and the suffering of his surviving family members.

He said Zhu’s mental and physical health had been an issue and that she has no memory of the crash.

According to the attorney, Zhu was driving after dropping her husband off at work when her car surged and suddenly she was in a car wreck.

Her car is also being examined for any mechanical issues, he said. In the months since the incident, Vea said his client’s health has improved but she is still traumatized by the death.

Assistant District Attorney Alex Bastian said outside of court that if convicted of the three charges, Zhu faces a maximum of more than seven years in prison.

The San family is looking into filing a civil suit against Zhu in a separate, parallel process alongside the criminal proceedings, said Trent Goulding, an attorney for the family.

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