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Driver pleads not guilty in fatal crash
July 16, 2014, 05:00 AM By Michelle Durand Daily Journal

Zachary Katz

A Stanford business student will stand trial in December for the fatal wrong-way crash on Highway 101 in October that left a cab passenger dead in South San Francisco and two others inside the taxi injured.

Zachary Katz, 25, pleaded not guilty Tuesday to one count of vehicular manslaughter and two counts of felony drunk driving causing great bodily injury in connection with the Oct. 5, 2013, crash that killed 62-year-old Pedro Juan Soldevilla of Puerto Rico.

Katz was scheduled for a jury trial Dec. 1.

According to the California Highway Patrol, Katz had a blood alcohol content of around .15 when he drove the wrong way onto southbound Highway 101 near Sierra Point Parkway at 3:50 a.m. A California Highway Patrol officer reported him driving the wrong way for about 1.75 miles before crashing into a Ford Escape taxi which veered across several lanes and was struck by a Mazda.

Soldevilla, who had been a passenger in the rear cab, was ejected and died at the scene. He was not wearing a seat belt. Driver Azmach Ejersa suffered a broken foot and passenger Miguel Santiago was ejected and suffered fractures of the skill, humerus and clavicle.

The driver of the Mazda was not injured.

Authorities spent 1.5 hours to extract Katz from his vehicle and he was hospitalized four days with several broken bones before he could be arrested and charged.

He remains out of custody on $250,000 bail with the condition he abstain from alcohol and not operate a motor vehicle.

He returns to court Oct. 6 for a pretrial conference.

(650) 344-5200 ext. 102



Tags: highway, passenger, wrong,

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