An Oregon woman charged in the deaths of seven people - including her only two children - pleaded guilty Wednesday in two of the deaths.
Ginger Bess Davis, 26, of White City, Ore., was charged with seven counts of automobile homicide for causing a collision that killed five members of a Salt Lake family and her children.But her attorney, Alan Jeppesen, said she doesn't remember anything about the accident.
Davis was driving in the wrong direction on I-80 when she collided with a vehicle driven by Ryu Koike, 34. The accident occurred in broad daylight, about 4:30 p.m., on May 23, 1991, 16 miles east of the Utah-Nevada border.
Prosecutors said Davis had a blood-alcohol content of .23 - nearly three times the legal limit. A whiskey bottle was found in her car.
Davis was the lone survivor of the head-on crash. Investigators said she had traveled westbound in the eastbound lanes of I-80 for at least six and as many as 24 miles before the accident.
Jeppesen said the last thing Davis remembers is leaving a town in Oregon 48 hours before the accident occurred.
"Before the accident, she was referred to a psychiatrist because she was suffering blackouts or memory lapses," he said. But her then-husband apparently refused to allow her to go to a hospital for treatment.
What kind of problems she may have been suffering when the accident occurred is not known, Jeppesen said. Additional tests are still being conducted.
Davis pleaded guilty Wednesday to two counts of automobile homicide, a second-degree felony. In exchange for her guilty plea, prosecutors agreed to drop the other five homicide counts.
"The effect, as far as the sentence, is likely to be the same as if she'd been found guilty of all seven," said Tooele County Deputy Attorney John West.
Third District Judge Pat Brian ordered Adult Probation and Parole to prepare a pre-sentence report on Davis. The judge will sentence her on May 11.
"I certainly think she's a candidate to go to prison," West said. He will recommend she serve two concurrent one-to-15-year sentences.
Davis was hospitalized for more than two months and is still receiving treatment for her physical injuries and psychological problems, Jeppesen said. He has not yet decided what sentence recommendation he will make to the judge.
Koike, who was a clinical assistant in the LDS Hospital Foreign Observer program, his wife Toshie, 11/2-year-old son Teppei, and two of his wife's aunts visiting from Japan - Riyoko Yamamoto and Emiko Yonezawa - were all killed during the collision. Davis' 6-year-old daughter Cheyene and 2-year-old son Justin were also killed.
Earlier on the day of the crash, a U-Haul trailer somehow detached from Davis' vehicle and crashed about 80 miles north of Winnemucca, Nev., the Utah Highway Patrol said. A Department of Transportation employee stopped to help her and allegedly detected a smell of alcohol about her. But the woman abandoned the trailer and left before a Nevada trooper arrived.
Jeppesen said Davis remembers renting the trailer, but nothing more.
UHP officials also said Davis had been driving without a license, which had been revoked after she was convicted of DUI in November of 1990.