Witnesses testify against man accused of causing crash that killed motorcyclist

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SAN DIEGO-- A hearing is underway to determine if there is enough evidence to send a man to trial for causing a fatal accident while driving under the influence.

Police say on November 28, 2017, Toribio Martinez Sanchez was headed west on Coronado Avenue in Egger Highlands in a Dodge Durango SUV when he made a left-hand turn at Thermal Avenue, crossing directly in the path of an oncoming motorcyclist. The 24-year-old motocyclist was thrown into the road and hit by a Nissan Altima, investigators said. He died at the scene.

A San Diego police traffic detective was one of six expert witnesses who testified in today's preliminary hearing. He spoke about how Sanchez failed to yield the night of the crash. 

“Mr. Corona was traveling East bound on Coronado on the motorcycle in the number one lane, and Mr. Sanchez approached the left turn lane and had the green solid circle that was determined by the fact that another driver had just made that left turn through that intersection and stated what color the light was. Mr. Sanchez began making the right turn without yielding and struck the motorcyclist pinning the motorcycle underneath the vehicle and dragging it leaving gouge marks in the roadway. I’m going to stop you real quick you indicated that Mr. Sanchez was making a right turn, was it a right turn? Or a left onto Thermal? a left turn," said the San Diego traffic detective.
Another San Diego traffic detective Michael Gottfried was in charge of analyzing Sanchez's cell phone. He testified the defendant was using his phone around the time of the crash.

"There were several back and forth phone calls outgoing on Mr. Sanchez’s phone and then several incoming calls on the phone and then later on there was one text message," said San Diego Police Traffic Detective Michael Gottfried.

Sanchez remains in county jail on suspicion of DUI causing death and gross vehicular manslaughter. He is being held in lieu of $500,000 bail.

Family members of the victim, Alex Corona, tell FOX 5 the evidence was difficult to look at and listen to. They did not want to speak on camera but say they want justice for Alex.

Sanchez's preliminary hearing will continue Tuesday.

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