SSRI Ed note: Woman taking Celexa. painkiller drinks vodka, drives, causes fatal accident.

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The Associated Press

A 22-year-old Kenwood woman was held to answer in Sonoma County Superior Court this afternoon for the death of a Santa Rosa woman in a vehicle crash on state Highway 12 near Kenwood in July.

Judge Rene Chouteau held Chelsea Tedeschi to answer to gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, and two counts of DUI causing great bodily injury or death.

Tedeschi was driving her mother’s 2000 Volvo east on Highway 12 on July 17 when it struck a 2005 Honda Civic driven by 16-year-old Douglas Todd. The crash killed Todd’s mother, 44-year-old Jane Beverly Todd, at the scene.

Tedeschi and Douglas Todd were injured and taken to Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital.

Trisha Meyers, of Sonoma, testified she saw Tedeschi cross the double yellow lines of the highway and swerve back toward the right shoulder of the road seven times as she drove behind her that night. She said she did not see the collision but came upon it on her way home.

California Highway Patrol Officer Juan Leon testified Tedeschi had a blood-alcohol level of 0.22 percent. At the hospital, Tedeschi said she had two vodka drinks and a glass of wine earlier that evening and had taken the anti-depressant Celexa that day and Vicodin that morning.

The Physicians’ Desktop Reference advises Celexa users not to take the drug when drinking alcohol or any other drug that affects the brain.

Defense attorney Chris Andrian told the judge insufficient evidence of gross negligence was presented during today’s preliminary hearing.

“There was no evidence she wasn’t in her lane,” Andrian said.

Chouteau, however, held Tedeschi to answer to the gross vehicular manslaughter charge because there was evidence Tedeschi had been swerving as she drove down the highway and drank alcohol that day.

Tedeschi is scheduled to re-enter a plea to the charges May 1.

(© 2007 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. In the interest of timeliness, this story is fed directly from the Associated Press newswire and may contain occasional typographical errors. )