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Second driver charged in fatal street racing crash pleads not guilty

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Posted at 12:20 PM, Dec 13, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-13 15:20:20-05

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — The second driver officials said is responsible for a street racing crash that killed a 58-year-old woman has pleaded not guilty to all charges.

On November 24, police said 34-year-old Israel Maldonado was racing his Dodge Ram with another driver and suspect, 50-year-old Ronald Pierce who BPD said was driving a Ford Mustang at the time. Pierce and Maldonado were allegedly racing Northbound on Old River Road when Pierce's Mustang lost control and hit a passing minivan driven by Maria Navarro. The van spun out into the Southbound lane into oncoming traffic. The van was then broadsided by a crane truck.

Navarro was killed in the crash and two minors, who were also in the van, were taken to the hospital.

On Friday, Maldonado pleaded not guilty to vehicle manslaughter with gross negligence, reckless driving on the highway, reckless driving causing injury, and engaging in a speed contest. His next court date is scheduled for December 16.