A man who allegedly killed his friend while doing donuts in a car in San Francisco’s Bayview District last Friday made his initial appearance in court today to face felony vehicular manslaughter, DUI and hit-and-run charges.
Daniel Lara, 18, of San Francisco, was arrested after the crash, which happened shortly before 8 p.m. Friday near the intersection of Griffith Street and Thomas Avenue.
Assistant District Attorney Alex Bastian said Lara was driving a four-door gray Honda Civic with three passengers inside and was doing donuts when he lost control of the car and it flipped onto its side.
One of the passengers, 19-year-old Eduardo Perez, was partially ejected through a side window. A group of people that included Perez’s older brother pushed the car back upright and pulled Perez out, but he died at the scene, Bastian said.
“The victim died in his older brother’s arms,” Bastian said.
Bastian alleges that Lara then fled the scene, ditching the car a block away at Griffith Street and Shafter Avenue. He said witnesses reported seeing Lara toss a bottle of alcohol over a fence while fleeing.
Lara’s father convinced him to return to the scene of the accident, where police took him into custody, Bastian said.
Lara did not enter a plea at this afternoon’s hearing, at which San Francisco Superior Court Judge Anne Bouliane ordered him held on $900,000 bail.
He faces various felony charges including gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, DUI causing serious injury, hit-and-run, and reckless driving, Bastian said.
The San Francisco Public Defender’s Office will be representing Lara but an attorney has yet to be assigned to the case.
Lara, who also has a separate misdemeanor hit-and-run case pending, will return to court on Friday morning, when he is expected to enter a plea.
A group of Lara’s family members attended today’s hearing but declined to speak outside of court.
Dan McMenamin, Bay City News