Man Charged in Deadly Crash in Long Beach

Judge holding gavel in courtroom

LONG BEACH (CNS) - A Norwalk man has been charged with gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and other counts stemming from a four-vehicle crash in Long Beach that killed his passenger and injured six others.

Mario Medrano, 31, pleaded not guilty Thursday to one felony count each of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, driving under the influence of a drug causing injury and driving the wrong way on a divided highway causing injury or death, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office.

The charges include allegations of causing great bodily injury.

Joe Delucas, 30, of Los Angeles died at the scene of the crash, which occurred about 5 p.m. Tuesday on Pacific Coast Highway south of Loynes Drive, according to the coroner's office and Long Beach police.

Six other people were taken to area hospitals, police said.

Medrano was driving a 2015 Nissan Altima south on PCH “at a high rate of speed'' when he “swerved into oncoming traffic, striking a 1994 Nissan truck driven by a 63-year-old resident of Long Beach,'' according to a statement from the Long Beach Police Department.

“The Nissan Altima continued southbound in the northbound lanes of Pacific Coast Highway, striking a 2010 Toyota Prius, which was traveling northbound Pacific Coast Highway, driven by a 58-year-old resident of Long Beach,'' police said. “This impact caused the Prius to be pushed into the southbound lanes of Pacific Coast Highway and (it) was then struck by a 2008 Honda Pilot traveling southbound Pacific Coast Highway.''

Medrano was arrested by Long Beach police soon afterward and has remained behind bars since then, jail records show.

He is due back in a Long Beach courtroom Oct. 30. A date is scheduled to be set then for a hearing to determine if there is sufficient evidence to allow the case against him to proceed to trial.

Photo: Getty Images

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