Man Pleads Not Guilty To Crash That Killed Child - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Man Pleads Not Guilty To Crash That Killed Child

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A 23-year-old man accused of causing a traffic accident that killed the 9-year-old daughter of a woman he was dating pleaded not guilty today to gross vehicular manslaughter, DUI and child endangerment charges.

Michael J. Wright Jr. of Commerce, in Los Angeles County, was ordered held on $400,000 bail by Vista Judge Marshall Hockett.

Wright faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted, said Deputy District Attorney Jodi Breton.

A readiness conference was set for Aug. 14 and a preliminary hearing for Aug. 18.

The defendant was arrested shortly after the fatal crash, which occurred around 1 a.m. Monday on northbound Interstate 5 at Cassidy Street, according to the California Highway Patrol.

Nine-year-old Violet Rosenquist, also a Los Angeles County resident, was a rear seat passenger in a 2006 Lexus RS330 driven by Wright.

Wright allegedly failed to notice in time that vehicles were slowing down, then swerved to the right and crashed into a Dodge Caliber, hit a Honda CRV and slammed into the left rear of a big rig, the CHP reported.

Rosenquist was flown to Rady Children's Hospital, where she died minutes after arrival, according to the San Diego County Medical Examiner's Office.

The driver of the Dodge suffered minor injuries, while the Honda's driver was taken to Tri-City Medical Center with moderate injuries, according to the CHP and a Carlsbad fire dispatcher.

Wright is charged with one count each of gross vehicular manslaughter with alcohol, DUI causing injury, DUI with a blood-alcohol content of .08 percent or higher and two counts of child endangerment with an allegation of great bodily injury, Breton said.

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