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18-year-old Holtville man charged in death of girl, 15

March 13, 2002|By DARREN SIMON

Staff Writer

The District Attorney's Office has charged an 18-year-old Holtville man with gross vehicular manslaughter, driving under the influence and hit and run after a traffic accident that caused the death of a Calexico girl.

Josue Diaz remained in county jail this morning with his bail set at $50,000. He was arraigned in jail court Tuesday.

The charges stem from an accident Saturday in which he lost control of a car on Anderholt Road south of Jasper Road near Calexico.

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According to the California Highway Patrol, Diaz had been driving at a high rate of speed and was allegedly under the influence of alcohol.

Highway Patrol Officer David Marrs said preliminary tests did indicate "alcohol was involved."

However, results of a drug screening were unavailable this morning.

A 15-year-old Calexico girl, Ivy Valenzuela, was ejected from the vehicle. She was not wearing a seat belt, according to a Highway Patrol press release.

She was taken to El Centro Regional Medical Center, where she was pronounced dead about 1 a.m. Sunday, around four hours after the accident.

Three passengers in the car suffered minor to moderate injuries.

Highway Patrol officials said hit and run was included in the charges because moments before the fatal crash, Diaz had reportedly rear-ended another vehicle on Highway 111 near McCabe Road. Diaz allegedly started to pull over along with the driver of the vehicle he reportedly struck, but Diaz then fled the scene.

The other driver was pursuing Diaz when Diaz failed to negotiate a curve on Anderholt Road and the car went off the roadway and rolled several times.

The driver of the vehicle that was hit by Diaz earlier reported the accident.

Diaz was arrested, taken to a hospital for minor injuries and then booked into the county jail.

>> Staff Writer Darren Simon can be reached at 337-4082.

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