SAN DIEGO (CNS) - A motorist who allegedly took off after hitting a female transient in the middle of Interstate 5 near downtown San Diego must stand trial on a charge of hit-and-run causing death, a judge ruled Thursday.
Sandro Garcia, 33, faces up to seven years in state prison if convicted, said Deputy District Attorney Lucy Yturralde.
The prosecutor alleged that Garcia struck 51-year-old Sara Basile -- also known as Patricia McNally -- on the freeway shortly after midnight on June 19. He then allegedly drove to his aunt's home. where he drank alcohol and waited an hour before calling police.
Yturralde said the impact from the crash was significant, leaving Garcia's car with a cracked windshield and front-end damage.
CHP Officer Adolfo Moriel testified that the victim's shoes were found near her body on the freeway. Moriel said visibility was good in the area the morning of the accident.
Garcia's attorney said his client -- a West Point graduate and Iraq war veteran -- didn't have a cellphone when the accident occurred, so he drove to his aunt's house nearby before calling police.
Garcia was arrested about 3:30 a.m. and booked into jail, but later posted $50,000 bail.
Judge Peter Deddeh found that enough evidence was presented at the preliminary hearing for Garcia to proceed to trial. A Superior Court arraignment is set for Sept. 11.
In the wake of the Gate Fire, which ignited May 20, the Bureau of Land Management has issued new restrictions for Southern California counties, including San Diego.
Veterans are being honored across San Diego County during Memorial Day weekend and dozens of Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts were among those spending their Saturday placing American flags at burial sites at the Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery.
With thousands of San Diegans expected to celebrate the holiday weekend at the beach, lifeguards are on high alert and a have a few warnings for those headed to the water.
U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris, D-California, is scheduled to visit local Navy personnel in San Diego and Coronado next week, her office announced Saturday.
A 30-year-old Vista man was arrested for drunk driving and failure to yield Saturday morning after leading Carlsbad police on a high-speed pursuit that ended with the suspect crashing into a pole, according to authorities.
A man, possibly armed, and holed up inside a home in the Bay Park community for about four hours Saturday surrendered to police without incident.
Vacationing homeowners were hit by thieves in Mira Mesa, but thanks to a smartphone app, the crooks did not get away with it.
Signs warning people to stay out of the water are once again posted in Imperial Beach after a new spill from Mexico dumped hundreds of thousands of gallons of sewage into the Tijuana River - polluting the South Bay.
Two defense contractors were sentenced to prison Friday for conspiring to steal more than $3 million worth of medical equipment from Camp Pendleton that the military had planned to ship overseas to treat injured Marines.