A 20-year-old unlicensed and allegedly drunken driver accused of causing a fatal head-on crash in Escondido pleaded not guilty Wednesday to charges that include gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated.
Celso Solano Rojas’ blood-alcohol content was measured at 0.24% — three times the legal limit — following the Sept. 25 crash that killed 85-year-old Richard Woolsey, according to Deputy District Attorney David Uyar.
He said Rojas tried to pass traffic on Centre City Parkway about 8 p.m. and crashed head-on into Woolsey’s vehicle.
The victim was taken to a hospital, where he died two days after the crash.
Rojas was also injured in the crash and hospitalized, according to the prosecutor.
In addition to the manslaughter count, Rojas is facing three counts of DUI causing injury, all involving the same victim, as well as a misdemeanor of driving without a license and an infraction for driving with a measurable blood-alcohol content while under age 21.
Bail was set at $250,000 at Rojas’ arraignment. His next court date is a Dec. 1 readiness conference.
— City News Service