A judge on Friday scheduled a preliminary hearing for a man accused of driving recklessly and hitting two people, killing one of them, as they walked near the Stanislaus County Fairground in Turlock in January.
Rene Salas, 50, of Turlock is charged with two felonies: vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence and hit-and-run resulting in death. He also faces a misdemeanor charge of driving with a suspended or revoked license for a previous conviction of driving under the influence.
Authorities say Salas was driving the car that struck Elizabeth Mancha, 46, and her boyfriend. Mancha died at the scene, and her boyfriend suffered severe injuries.
Stanislaus Superior Court Judge Nancy Ashley scheduled Salas’ preliminary hearing to start Nov. 4. At the conclusion of the hearing, the judge will determine whether there is enough evidence for the defendant to stand trial.
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Salas has remained at the Stanislaus County Jail since he was arrested Jan. 22.
The hit-and-run occurred shortly before 10:30 p.m. Jan. 9 in the 1300 block of Joett Drive, just south of Fulkerth Road. Turlock police have said the woman and her boyfriend appeared to have been out for a leisurely walk around Summerfaire Park.
A Ford Mustang was on Joett heading toward Fulkerth near Tramway Place when it struck the pedestrians near the curb, according to police.
Officers and firefighters arrived at the scene and found the injured couple. Police said the vehicle’s driver ran from the area, leaving the Mustang behind, before police arrived.
Investigators later learned Salas was driving the Mustang that hit the pedestrians, and nobody else was in the car at the time. Salas was arrested 13 days after Mancha and her boyfriend were struck by the car.