Sheriff’s deputies Wednesday arrested two men charged with causing a collision that killed a bicyclist in Rancho Mirage just over a year ago.
Alex Isidro Quiroz, 23, and Luis Armando Castaneda, 21, are each charged with one count of vehicular manslaughter stemming from the collision that killed 32-year-old Cathedral City resident William Campbell on Dec. 13, 2018, about 6:50 a.m. on eastbound Ramon Road, east of Rattler Road.
Quiroz also faces a sentencing enhancement allegation of fleeing the scene of a crime.
The Riverside County District Attorney’s Office filed the case on Dec. 10, and a judge issued arrest warrants for the men on Tuesday. Both defendants were picked up by sheriff’s deputies Wednesday morning at separate locations in Cathedral City and were booked at the Indio jail.
A witness told a Riverside County sheriff’s investigator that the duo appeared to be street racing, according to a declaration in support of an arrest warrant, which also said tire marks at the scene later proved that Castaneda — who allegedly admitted to authorities he hit the cyclist — was traveling between 94 to 98 miles per hour at the time.
When the collision occurred, the men were driving side-by-side as Quiroz attempted to move into the lane occupied by Castaneda, spurring Castaneda to maneuver his car to his right into the bicycle lane to avoid a collision, according to the declaration, which alleges Castaneda’s car then struck the cyclist. Campbell was launched almost 150 feet forward and was pronounced dead at the scene.
Quiroz then allegedly continued on Ramon Road onto Interstate 10, where he was followed by a witness who alerted authorities. A California Highway Patrol officer pulled him over in Indio, where Quiroz agreed to be voluntarily transported to the Palm Desert sheriff’s station for questioning.
At the station, Quiroz allegedly admitted to driving between 60 and 70 miles per hour and making an unsafe lane change, according to the declaration prepared by Riverside County sheriff’s investigator N. Bazanos.
The posted speed limit on that stretch of Ramon Road is 55 miles per hour.
During Castaneda’s interview with sheriff’s investigators, he denied racing at the time of the crash, telling investigators he was attempting to get away from Quiroz, who he said was “driving stupid,” according to the document prepared by Bazanos.
“Castaneda’s speed, whether he was racing Quiroz or not, was negligent and (a) factor in Campbell’s death,” the declaration alleges.
Bail was set at $80,000 for Quiroz and $35,000 for Castaneda, who are scheduled to be arraigned Friday at the Larson Justice Center in Indio.