Ordaz

A shrine to Jessica Ordaz stands on E. 50th St., north of Ave. P, where she was killed in a head-on collision on Nov. 15, 2018. Former Eastside School District principal Mary Noel Kruppe faces a murder charge over the crash.

LANCASTER — An Eastside School District principal will be tried on murder charges for the drunk-driving death of a woman in a head-on crash in Palmdale last year.

Mary Noel Kruppe, 36, of Pearblossom, is in custody on suspicion of felony murder. She pleaded not guilty to the charge in April at the Antelope Valley Courthouse, and appeared at a preliminary hearing Tuesday.

The charge stems from the death of 29-year-old Lancaster resident Jessica Ordaz on Nov. 15.

Kruppe is next expected in court on July 23 for an arraignment on the felony, officials from the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office said.

She has been held in jail in lieu of $2 million bail since her November arrest.

Kruppe was behind the wheel of a 2014 Jeep Wrangler that was traveling southbound on 50th Street East, north of Avenue P, when it veered left into oncoming traffic at about 6:50 p.m. that day and collided head-on with a 2010 Mazda driven by Ordaz, authorities said.

Ordaz was pronounced dead at the scene, and Kruppe was taken to a hospital for treatment of moderate injuries, according to the California Highway Patrol.

Kruppe was principal at Enterprise Elementary School in Lancaster at the time of the accident.

If convicted as charged, Kruppe could face up to 15 years to life in state prison, according to the Los Angeles County District

Attorney’s Office.

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