A 20-year-old man is scheduled to be arraigned May 20 on a felony charge of vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence for allegedly speeding on a Commerce street and fatally striking a postal worker who was unloading packages from a post office truck last December.
Ismael Eduardo Sotelo faces up to six years in prison if convicted of causing the Dec. 3 crash that killed 58-year-old Joel Perales in the 2100 block of South Atlantic Boulevard, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.
Prosecutors contend Sotelo was driving above the posted speed limit when he hit Perales, who was taking packages from the back of a U.S. Postal Service truck when he was struck. The District Attorney’s Office did not specify how fast Sotelo was allegedly driving.
After striking Perales and the postal truck, Sotelo’s car came to rest against the wall of a nearby business, according to the sheriff’s department.
Sheriff’s officials said Sotelo passed a field sobriety test after the crash.
He was freed on bond following his arrest April 11, just under a week after the case against him was filed.
According to a GoFundMe page, Perales was a 30-year employee of the East Los Angeles post office station and was working an extra shift when he was killed. He was a married father of five and a grandfather, and served as a pastor at Templo de Alabanza, a pentecostal church in La Mirada.