Two Mexican nationals accused of causing the deaths of two undocumented immigrants will face vehicular manslaughter rather than murder charges after a ruling by a county Superior Court judge Monday.
The men, Santiago Carranza Martinez and Benito Reyes Ramirez, have been in custody since the Jan. 30 collision in which the van they were traveling in crashed into a bus filled with farm workers on Highway 86 near Kalin Road.
The van, according to police reports, was carrying a group of undocumented immigrants. Two of the illegal immigrants died in the accident.
The county District Attorney's Office has alleged Martinez was driving the van and Ramirez was the "coyote" who brought the group across the border.