A 19-year-old Laguna Niguel man was charged Tueday with leaving the scene of a collision that killed a skateboarder in San Juan Capistrano.
Andrew Christopher Michaels is charged with a single felony count of hit-and-run resulting in a fatality, according to Deputy District Attorney Stephen Cornwell.
There are “conflicting witness accounts” about whether Michaels had a green light when he struck 23-year-old Cesar Medina of San Juan Capistrano with a Dodge Ram pickup truck, making it difficult for prosecutors to file a vehicular manslaughter case, according to Orange County sheriff’s Lt. Jeff Hallock.
Michaels, who is being held in lieu of $500,000 bail, could face two, three or four years in prison if convicted of the hit-and-run count, Cornwell said.
The collision occurred about 10:10 p.m. Friday in a crosswalk on Del Obispo Street at Paseo Carolina, Hallock said.
Medina was riding his skateboard across the street when he was struck by the pickup truck, Hallock said.
Medina was rushed to Mission Hospital in Mission Viejo, where his sister was working as an emergency room admittance clerk at the time, Hallock said.
Investigators gathered information that led them to Michaels’ residence, where he was arrested Saturday night, Hallock said, but declined to elaborate on the evidence.
Michaels pleaded not guilty Tuesday and was ordered to return to court Oct. 15 for a pretrial hearing.
Michaels was arrested on suspicion of delaying or obstructing justice Sept. 1 and released from the Orange County Jail on Sept. 2, according to records.
According to Hallock, deputies were called to Michaels’ residence for a domestic disturbance and he was allegedly uncooperative when questioned.
— City News Service