A man who was allegedly drunk behind the wheel of a car that overturned on a Cathedral City roadway, killing his passenger, pleaded not guilty Monday to a DUI gross vehicular manslaughter charge.
Mario Garcia, 46, of Cathedral City is accused in the Oct. 16 rollover crash that killed 45-year-old Cathedral City resident Lenette Saubel.
Officers found a car overturned in the northbound lanes of Date Palm Drive, near Tachevah Drive and Tortuga Road, at 2:04 a.m. last Tuesday, according to police.
Saubel was pronounced dead at the scene, while Garcia was arrested at Desert Regional Medical Center in Palm Springs, where he was treated for minor injuries sustained in the crash.
Garcia’s blood-alcohol level was measured at more than three times the legal limit of .08 percent, according to Cathedral City Police Chief Travis Walker.
“We have spent a great deal of time and effort trying to educate the masses about the hazards of driving under the influence, yet we still sadly see unnecessary death due to poor decisions made by those who drive impaired,” the chief said.
Garcia, who’s being held in lieu of $115,000 bail, is due back in court Oct. 31 for a felony settlement conference.