Crime

Was the driver accused of killing Los Banos teen going 140 mph in hit-and-run crash?

What investigators want to know about Merced County crash that killed teen

Investigation reports on high-speed fatal hit-and-run on March 10 in Los Banos, California on Highway 152 state driver Ivan Andrade had alcohol, marijuana before crash, and has many driving violations.
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Investigation reports on high-speed fatal hit-and-run on March 10 in Los Banos, California on Highway 152 state driver Ivan Andrade had alcohol, marijuana before crash, and has many driving violations.

A Los Banos man charged with the hit-and-run death of a 19-year-old woman has an extensive history of reckless driving, speeding and traffic infractions, according to court records.

New details about the March 10 crash on Pacheco Boulevard in Los Banos also show that 21-year-old Ivan Andrade told police he had smoked marijuana earlier in the day and consumed several alcoholic beverages before the collision, according to investigation reports.

Authorities also found several firearms in Andrade’s vehicle, the reports state.

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Courtesy Merced County Sheriff's Office

Andrade on Wednesday pleaded not guilty to felony manslaughter, a deadly hit-and-run and carrying a loaded firearm, and misdemeanors of reckless driving and exhibition of speed. He also has been charged for several enhancements of inflicting major injuries.

Andrade’s bail also was raised from $100,000 to $800,000 Wednesday, according to court records.

New details revealed in crash

Investigators want to know whether Andrade was driving at around 140 mph when his white 2017 Dodge Charger collided into a white 2017 Nissan Pathfinder near the intersection of 10th Street, according to investigation reports.

The Nissan SUV was smashed into two to three pieces from the impact, police said, which killed 19-year-old Marlyne Vidales and severely injured 20-year-old Alexis Ledesma, passenger Mario Pavia and driver Javier Martinez, who was ejected from the vehicle, according to the reports.

Vidales died at the scene while Ledesma, Pavia and Martinez were taken to hospitals.

When investigators checked out the Charger, they noticed a “paper plate” covering the rear license plate. The speedometer on the Charger was stuck at 140 mph after the crash, according to the reports. Police were careful to note that investigators were still looking into whether that was the true speed at the time of the crash.

A passenger in the Charger, Rodrigo Gonzalez, was trapped in the car after the crash and had a semi-automatic rifle on his lap, reports state. He needed to be extricated at gunpoint and also was transported to a hospital with major injuries. Another passenger in the vehicle, Elvis Lainez, left the scene before police and medical personnel arrived.

A black revolver also was found on the driver side floorboard, according to reports.

Andrade also left the scene of the collision, police said. Later that day, investigators found Andrade at his Los Banos home.

Officers noticed “road rash” on Andrade’s right hand and he told them he was previously at the “El Bohemio bar,” known as the Rincon Bohemio Night Club in downtown Los Banos, the reports state.

Andrade told detectives he drank several 12-ounce beers and a shot of hard alcohol at the club before he left to take one of the passengers home, according to reports.

Andrade told officers he was driving east on Pacheco Boulevard and that he was speeding but not sure how fast and didn’t see the Nissan before the Charger collided with it, according to police reports.

After the collision, Andrade said he tried opening one of the doors to free Rodriguez, but he couldn’t and he left the scene. He walked to a local business and got a ride home from another person, according to reports.

A witness told police Andrade was seen entering a local business seemingly “drunk” and “tumbling” as he asked an employee to use a phone to call for a ride, reports state.

Another witness also told police Andrade was drinking at the club before the collision.

Andrade hasn’t been charged with a DUI. Answers to the question of whether Andrade was driving over the legal alcohol limit was pending toxicology results, the reports state.

The Merced County District Attorney’s Office did not respond to requests for comment about the case.

Past traffic offenses

Andrade has a history of traffic infractions and reckless driving over the past two years, according to Merced County Superior Court records.

The records also indicate he failed to appear in court numerous times and received warnings for failure to pay fines associated with the traffic violations.

On April 30, 2017, Andrade was cited for a red light violation and was ordered to pay fines.

Andrade later pleaded no contest to speeding on June 4, 2017. He was referred to traffic school and required to pay fines, which went to court collections.

Andrade also accepted a plea deal for a Nov. 11, 2017, incident in which he was charged with misdemeanor reckless driving and “exhibition of speed.” The deal led to the charge being reduced to an infraction and $500 fine.

On Aug. 6, 2018, Andrade reportedly failed to stop at a stop sign, an infraction. He missed his last court date for that charge on Jan. 11 this year, according to records.

Andrade also failed to appear for a hearing on another set of traffic infractions, including a license plate infraction, from a Sept. 20, 2018, incident, records state.

Andrade is expected back in court for a hearing on the fatal crash April 24, according to court records.

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