Arraignment was pushed back Thursday to Oct. 29 for one of two men accused in a street racing collision that fatally injured two senior citizens in Coachella last year.
Angel Ramirez, 38, of Coachella is charged with two counts of vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence in the May 17, 2019, crash that killed Sofia Prieto, 74, and her husband, Jose Prieto, 75.
Ramirez’s attorney, John Patrick Dolan, said his client was severely injured in the crash, which has prohibited him from making several of his last arraignment dates.
Ramirez posted a $50,000 bond, while his co-defendant, 28-year-old Estevan Jesus Donato of Coachella, remains in custody in lieu of $250,000 bail.
Riverside County Superior Court Judge Otis Sterling found there was sufficient evidence to warrant a trial for Donato on two second-degree murder counts following a preliminary hearing on Aug. 4.
According to prosecutors, the Prietos’ Ford F-150 truck was struck while making a turn across Grapefruit Boulevard, near Mitchell Drive.
Testifying at Donato’s preliminary hearing, Riverside County sheriff’s Sgt. David Morton said a witness reported seeing the two cars involved in the crash — an Audi sedan and a Dodge Challenger — at the intersection of Indio and Grapefruit boulevards, about two miles north of the crash site. The witness reported hearing the engines being revved at the intersection before both cars took off, reaching speeds upward of 100 miles per hour.
The Dodge Challenger, allegedly driven by Ramirez, hit the Ford F-150, while the Audi sedan, allegedly driven by Donato, sped off and was later located after a witness reported the car’s license plate to a sheriff’s deputy, according to prosecutors.
Jose Prieto died at the scene of the crash, and his wife died at John F. Kennedy Memorial Hospital in Indio.