A felon accused of racing a 19-year-old driver on the Riverside (91) Freeway until their two cars crashed, causing a fire that killed the young man, pleaded not guilty Friday to a second-degree murder charge.

Marcos Calderon, 25, of Riverside was arrested immediately after the April 6 collision on the eastbound 91 that claimed the life of Eduardo Faudoa of Corona.

Calderon was arraigned before Riverside County Superior Court Judge Gail O’Rane, who scheduled a felony settlement conference for May 4 and kept the defendant’s bail at $1 million. He’s being held at the Robert Presley Jail in Riverside.

According to the California Highway Patrol, Calderon and Faudoa allegedly started their race about 12:45 a.m., accelerating to speeds in excess of 100 mph while trying to out-maneuver one another in eastbound lanes.

Calderon was driving a Nissan Altima, and Faudoa was at the wheel of a BMW 550 sedan, CHP Officer Juan Quintero said.

When the two drivers encountered slower traffic on the west end of Riverside, near Buchanan Street, they “lost control of their respective vehicles and veered off of the freeway in a southerly direction,” Quintero said. Calderon’s car stopped in a parking lot adjacent to the freeway, but the victim’s BMW “struck a tree and immediately caught fire,” he said.

Faudoa was unable to exit the vehicle and died before Riverside Fire Department personnel reached the scene and knocked down the flames, according to Quintero.

The defendant was examined at a hospital and cleared for booking into the downtown jail.

His prior offenses occurred in another jurisdiction and were not disclosed in court documents.

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