A Los Angeles man accused of driving drunk and causing a New Year’s morning crash in Hollywood that injured an Uber driver and four passengers is due back in court later this month to face DUI and other charges.
Michael Steward Forno, 37, was charged and pleaded not guilty Wednesday to a series of criminal counts. A preliminary hearing was tentatively set for Jan. 17 in downtown Los Angeles, according to the District Attorney’s Office.
Forno alleged crashed a Mercedes SUV into a Toyota Prius being driven by an Uber driver around 6 a.m. Monday in the 7400 block of Melrose Avenue, authorities said. The SUV wound up overturning, landing on its roof, while the Prius was pushed into the front of a sports-apparel business.
Police said the driver of the SUV tried to flee from the scene after the crash, but was detained by witnesses.
The Uber driver and four passengers in the Prius were all hospitalized, some in critical condition.
According to prosecutors, Forno had rear-ended another vehicle near Hollywood Boulevard and was fleeing from that scene when he T-boned the Prius.
He was charged Wednesday with one count each of driving under the influence of alcohol, causing bodily injury to another person while having a blood-alcohol content of 0.08 or more, hit-and-run driving resulting in death or serious injury and hit-and-run driving resulting in property damage.
He faces up to 14 years and two months in prison if convicted, prosecutors said. He is being held in lieu of $330,000 bail.
–City News Service
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