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Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Fatal Tow Truck Crash Case Continued In CA

Here's the Morgan Hill Times story:
Louis Estrada Vasquez, 44, pleaded not guilty to the misdemeanor charge and could face up to one year in county jail if convicted, according to prosecutors.

Just over three years after Vasquez's truck allegedly skidded on wet roads and crashed into the Caltrans work site where Merriman, 32, was part of a three-man crew repairing potholes on U.S. 101 near Hellyer Avenue in San Jose, attorneys plan to move forward with the long-awaited trial. Vasquez's tow truck pushed a Caltrans truck into the work site, pinching Merriman between two vehicles, according to court documents. Merriman died instantly.

A judge was supposed to schedule a date for the trial this week but the case was continued while prosecutors await reports. The trial has been postponed several times while the defense collects more evidence from the crash site and while prosecutors waited for the statement of an expert the defense has enlisted for the trial, Deputy District Attorney Michael Amaral said.

A judge is supposed to set a date for the trial 8:30 a.m. June 15 in Department 24 of the Hall of Justice in San Jose.

Amaral expects the trial to last longer than a week. The first day will begin with pretrial motions and jury selection.

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