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Preliminary held for woman charged in three 2018 motor vehicle deaths

More than 20 months after the end of three people’s lives on a Plumas County highway, a woman charged with those deaths was in court for a preliminary hearing.

Karen Yvonne Schwamb, now 49, a short-time resident of Twain, was seated beside her attorney, Joseph Tully of Contra Costa County on Thursday, Oct. 24.

Schwamb arrived in the downstairs superior courtroom in the standard felon-striped uniform and in chains. At Tully’s request, those chains were removed by a bailiff.

Schwamb is charged with three counts of murder and one felony count of driving under the influence.

District Attorney David Hollister called five witnesses to the stand. The longest testimonies were heard from CHP officers James Stowe and Reese McAllister.

Stowe was the arresting officer and first on scene. He also performed the field sobriety testing.

McAllister took Schwamb to Plumas District Hospital where she was treated for various injuries. He also performed standard drug field tests on Schwamb at the CHP office in Quincy.

Schwamb will be arraigned Dec. 6, at 11 a.m. Hollister expects the trial to begin sometime next spring.

Schwamb was initially arrested Feb. 5, 2018, following an incident where she passed over the double yellow lines on a curve of Highway 70 approximately 3 miles west of the Greenville Wye.

The 2017 Subaru Outback she was driving hit a F150 Ford pickup traveling westbound, killing the driver. The Subaru then went over the top of the Ford and struck a motorcycle, killing both the driver and his passenger.

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