Chino Hills man faces DUI vehicular manslaughter charge in 2017 crash in Orange County

SANTA ANA — A 25-year-old Chino Hills man made his first court appearance Monday on a vehicular manslaughter charge stemming from an allegedly alcohol-fueled crash on the Riverside (91) Freeway in Orange County.

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Julian Bautista was charged in April with gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, with sentencing enhancements for allegedly inflicting great bodily injury on two additional victims, according to court records. Bautista was arrested Friday on a warrant charging him with manslaughter.

Bautista is accused of killing 21-year-old Guadalupe Ramirez of Lynwood in a March 25, 2017, collision near the Euclid Street off-ramp involving a Jeep and a Toyota. Two other victims were injured in the crash that occurred about 2:40 a.m. in the Anaheim/Fullerton area.

Bautista is accused of “inattention” and driving at an unsafe speed, according to court records.

Bautista’s arraignment Monday was rescheduled for July 27.

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Former Artesia Mayor John Carlos Martins dies in motorcycle crash

ARTESIA — Services are pending for former Artesia Mayor John Carlos Martins, killed Friday morning while riding a motorcycle in a crash with a car near Ojai in Ventura County.

Martins, 54, was with a group of bikers on a weekend ride about 8:20 a.m. Friday, headed for the San Luis Obispo area, when he crossed the double-yellow line on Highway 150 and hit a Nissan Altima head on, the California Highway Patrol said.

It’s not known what caused Martins to sweep into the oncoming car.

Paramedics took Martins to Ventura County Medical Center, where he died from his injuries at about 9:40 a.m., the Hews Media Group said.

No alcohol or drugs were suspected in the crash and the driver of the Altima remained at the scene, the media group reported.

Martins served on the Artesia City Council from 2001 to 2003 and was elected mayor on March 4, 2004, where he served until Nov. 10, 2010, the Portugese American Journal reported.

He had been an appointee on the Honorary Consul of Portugal in Los Angeles since 2015.

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Woman killed in Rowland Heights hit and run, CHP seeks driver of a silver Pontiac

ROWLAND HEIGHTS — A 75-year-old woman was killed in a hit-and-run crash in Rowland Heights on Monday night, authorities said.

The crash occurred about 7 p.m. in the 1800 block of Saleroso Drive at Rio Bonito Drive, according to the California Highway Patrol.

Help us identify the driver responsible for a hit-and-run fatality. Silver Pontiac, possibly a G6. June 11, 2018, around 7:05 PM. 1800 block south Saleroso Dr. If you have security cameras that capture the street, call the CHP Santa Fe Springs Office. #rowlandheights #hitandrun pic.twitter.com/g86KU8LqTU

— CHP Santa Fe Springs (@CHP_SFS) June 12, 2018

The woman and her husband were crossing the street when she was struck by a four-door silver Pontiac going south on Saleroso Drive. According to her husband, the driver did not stop and accelerated after striking his wife, the CHP said.

The woman was taken to a hospital where she was pronounced dead.

Anyone who may have witnessed the crash is asked to call the CHP’s Santa Fe Springs Area Office at (562) 868-0503.

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Man pleads guilty in DUI crash that killed a child and his uncle in Santa Ana

SANTA ANA — A 38-year-old Santa Ana man is facing a six-year sentence for a DUI crash that killed another man and his 6-year-old nephew in Santa Ana, a prosecutor said Tuesday.

Armando Edgar Duran Cruz pleaded guilty Monday to two counts of gross vehicular manslaughter and driving drunk causing injury, according to Senior Deputy District Attorney Whitney Bokosky.

Cruz, who is scheduled to be sentenced July 20, accepted a plea bargain from Orange County Superior Court Judge Robert Fitzgerald.

David Wayne Cote, who was 54, and his nephew, Ivan Sandoval, were fatally injured in the Aug. 3, 2015, crash.

Cote, of Santa Ana, at the time was the legal guardian of the boy, who had lost his mother to cancer not long before the collision.

Investigators initially suspected that Cote — who was driving under the influence of marijuana, morphine and two beers — was at fault for the collision, Bokosky said. Further investigation determined that Cruz was speeding, though not to a great degree, but had a blood-alcohol level of .29 at the time of the crash, the prosecutor said.

Cruz has a prior conviction in 2008 for driving under the influence, Bokosky said.

Ivan was in the front seat of his uncle’s older-model BMW sedan, but should have been in a booster seat, which was in the back seat of the car, according to Santa Ana Police Cpl. Anthony Bertagna. State law mandates children must be 8 years old or 80 pounds before they can ride up front without using a booster seat.

Cote’s stepdaughter, Jeanette Moreno, told Fitzgerald before Monday’s hearing that Ivan was a “vibrant” boy.

“He was constantly doing typical boy activities such as riding his bike, skateboard or Razor scooter,” Moreno said. “When Ivan played, he played hard.”

She said Ivan and her daughter were “extremely close” and had their own pretend language.

“We have been robbed of all the joy he brought us,” Moreno said. “There is not a day that passes that I don’t think of my baby brother; Ivan will be forever loved and missed.”

She said her stepfather was an “all-around family man … His children meant the world to him. I remember being pregnant and even though he had just got home from a long drive and a long day’s work, he doted on me hand and foot.”

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