A 20-year-old man accused of driving drunk and causing a fiery crash in Bay Park that killed two passengers pleaded not guilty Wednesday to gross vehicular manslaughter and other charges.
Antony N. Schoenle was ordered held on $2 million bail. He was arraigned from his hospital bed at UCSD Medical Center.
San Diego police investigators said Schoenle was behind the wheel of a 2000 Dodge Stratus that struck a curb in the 4800 block of Friars Road, veered onto an embankment and struck a large boulder, causing a fire which engulfed the car about 7:30 a.m. Saturday.
Schoenle was able to free himself from the wreckage, but his passengers – – best friends Lizzy Garcia and Lupe Acosta, in their early 20s — were trapped in the car and burned to death.
Acosta’s puppy also died in the accident.
Deputy District Attorney Steven Schott said Schoenle’s blood-alcohol level was measured at .09 percent about two hours after the crash.
The defendant had consumed alcohol, marijuana and cocaine prior to the accident during a night of partying that began nearly 12 hours before the crash, the prosecutor alleged.
Schoenle faces 12 years in prison if convicted.
A bail review is set for Sept. 1 and preliminary hearing for Nov. 16.
— City News Service
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