Driver Pleads Not Guilty to Charges in Fatal SoMa Crash

A man who allegedly struck and killed a sleeping homeless man in an apparent DUI crash off of a westbound Interstate Highway 80 off-ramp in San Francisco’s South of Market neighborhood last weekend pleaded not guilty in court today.

Jaime Juarez, 2, of San Francisco, was arraigned today on charges of vehicular manslaughter and DUI from the crash reported at 1:10 a.m. Sunday near the I-80 Fifth Street off-ramp.

Juarez was driving a Toyota SUV when he allegedly went off the roadway and into the dirt embankment where Wilbert Williams, 62, a San Francisco transient, was sleeping.

Juarez struck Williams, who was pronounced dead at the scene.

Juarez was the only person in the car. He was taken to the hospital to be treated for minor injuries before he was taken into custody.

He pleaded not guilty in San Francisco Superior Court to gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and two counts of DUI causing injury while under the influence of alcohol and having a blood-alcohol content of .08 or higher, according to the district attorney’s office.

He is due back in court on July 14.

Sasha Lekach, Bay City News

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