A probationer accused of driving a stolen car while under the influence, causing a fatal Chula Vista crash, pleaded not guilty from his hospital bed Thursday to five charges, including gross vehicular manslaughter and possession of methamphetamine.
Michael Reyes, 29, was ordered held in lieu of $500,000 bail in connection with the Monday death of bicyclist David Voigt, 44, of Chula Vista.
Reyes admitted he had been drinking prior to the collision, between a high school and a middle school near East J Street and Dennis Avenue, according to Chula Vista police Lt. Lon Turner.
Shortly before 4:15 p.m., Reyes was driving a stolen silver Nissan Maxima westbound on East J Street when he suddenly crossed into oncoming traffic and struck Voigt as he was riding his bicycle, Turner said in a statement.
The Maxima continued onto a sidewalk after striking Voigt, eventually coming to rest after hitting an SDG&E power pole and a tree.
Paramedics took both Voigt and Reyes to UCSD Medical Center, where Voigt died and Reyes was treated for non-life threatening injuries. Prosecutor Carlos Varela told reporters that Reyes appeared to have a left leg injury.
The Maxima was stolen out of National City earlier in the day, Turner said, adding that property found inside the vehicle also appeared to be stolen.
Besides gross vehicular manslaughter and possession of a controlled substance, Reyes also is charged with auto theft, possession of stolen property and driving with a suspended license.
The defendant, who the prosecutor said was on probation for auto theft and possession of methamphetamine, faces 15 years and four months in prison if convicted.
– City News Service
A readiness conference was scheduled for March 20 and a preliminary hearing for April 16 at the South Bay Courthouse.
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