A man accused of four felony charges for his role in starting a major freeway pileup that killed two pleaded not guilty in court Thursday in San Diego.
28 year old Pedro Antonio Sainz faces charges of gross vehicular manslaughter, felony DUI with injury, and felony hit and run, amongst others, for an accident last weekend on the northbound lanes of the 805 Freeway at 2:30 a.m. on Sunday.
According to the California Highway Patrol, Sainz was speeding down the major highway when he lost control of his vehicle and struck a silver Toyota Matrix, which subsequently rolled several times before coming to rest in the middle of the freeway where a large pickup truck then crashed into it.
The crash left debris across all lane s of the freeway, causing a full closure of the area for several hours as crews gathered up the bits and pieces of the destroyed vehicles. The Matrix was reduced to a crinkled up mass of plastic and metal, looking like a balled up piece of paper.
Aboard the Toyota Matrix were 66 year old Ramiro Aguilar, his 47 year old wife Bertha, and their 13 year old son, all Las Vegas residents visiting the area.
Bertha was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash. Ramiro was taken from the scene to Scripps Mercy Hospital, where he died after an eight hour battle with his injuries. The son miraculously escaped injury. The driver of the Truck that struck them was uninjured as well.
After the accident, Sainz attempted to flee the scene on foot, but was captured soon afterwards. An investigation into the accident showed that he had consumed a total of 17 beers before getting behind the wheel of the car and causing the crash.
At present, he is being held on $2 million in bail. If he is found guilty, he faces a maximum of 24 years in jail.
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