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Disability Law: Driver Who Killed Man in Wheelchair Pleads Not Guilty to DUI Charges

Monday, June 6, 2011

Indio – A 25-year-old man has pleaded not guilty to facing drunk driving and felony charges after killing a disabled individual in a hit-and-run crash in Cathedral City, reports said.

Randy Merida is accused of DUI and vehicular manslaughter after running over 24-year-old Pedro Cervantes a residential street in Cathedral City, last May 27. Merida fled the accident scene after the crash that killed Cervantes, who was suffering from a condition called spina bifida.

The victim’s nephew got into a car and followed the driver’s vehicle until it stopped somewhere in the Dream Homes neighborhood. Merida was arrested about 1:00 a.m.the following day after the nephew called the police.

A Footage from a neighbor’s security camera showed the driver’s car knocking the victim off his wheelchair.

Pedro was suffering from a disability caused by the incomplete development of his spinal cord. He was confined in a wheelchair for more than 10 years.

If convicted, Merida could be imprisoned for a maximum of 19 years with a $150,000 bail.

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