|For Immediate Release
Case # 10CF0251
|Susan Kang Schroeder
Public Affairs Counsel
DRIVER TO BE ARRAIGNED FOR KILLING
8-YEAR-OLD GIRL IN HIGH-SPEED CRASH
*Victim’s aunt and aunt’s boyfriend were also injured in the crash
SANTA ANA – An unsafe driver was arrested today on charges of killing an 8-year-old girl and injuring her aunt and aunt’s boyfriend after crashing into their car while driving up to 80 mph. Soroosh Lee Mehdi, 27, Trabuco Canyon, is charged with one felony count of vehicular manslaughter by unlawful act with gross negligence with sentencing enhancements for causing great bodily injury to two victims. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of 12 years in state prison. The People will be requesting $150,000 bail at the defendant’s arraignment Monday, Feb. 8, 2010, in Department CJ-1, Central Jail, Santa Ana.
At approximately 5:30 p.m. on May 24, 2009, Mehdi is accused of speeding up to 80 mph in a 50 mph zone on El Toro Road in Lake Forest in his BMW sedan. The defendant is accused of driving at a high rate of speed near another speeding vehicle and swerving across three lanes of traffic. At El Toro Road and Toledo Way, Mehdi is accused of crossing through the intersection against a yellow light and making an unsafe lane change.
The defendant is accused of crashing into the driver’s side of a Chevrolet sport utility vehicle, driven by 27-year-old Jose Cervantes. Cervantes lost control of his vehicle due to the force of the impact and crashed into a wood utility pole. Cervantes had been driving with his girlfriend Magdalena Curiel Topete and Topete’s niece Jasmine Sanchez as passengers.
The defendant is accused of killing Sanchez, who died at the scene, by causing her blunt force trauma injuries. Topete, 21 years old, suffered lacerations to her face and liver. Cervantes suffered lacerations to his face and forehead.
Deputy District Attorney Jason Baez of the Homicide Unit is prosecuting this case.