Man Pleads Guilty in Street Racing Fatality

Flowers adorn the central Phoenix wall on April 8 that a car rammed through following a wreck involving teen drivers in late March. The victim, Octavio Grijalva Herrera, died from his injuries.(Photo: Randsom Rockliffe / The Republic)
Flowers adorn the central Phoenix wall on April 8 that a car rammed through following a wreck involving teen drivers in late March. The victim, Octavio Grijalva Herrera, died from his injuries.(Photo: Randsom Rockliffe / The Republic)

See man-killed-while-mowing-the-grass for background on the March 26, 2014 incident.

Correction (earlier rant removed): The hit and run involved the other alleged racing driver (Chavez),   Gonzalez did not hit and run…

A Phoenix teen accused of killing a 61-year-old landscaper following a street-racing accident in 2014 pleaded guilty this week to one count of aggravated assault and one count of manslaughter.

Jose Angel Gonzalez, 18, accepted a plea agreement that dismissed six other felony and misdemeanor counts, according to court documents.

The plea agreement stipulated that Gonzalez would face a prison term of three to five years followed by an undetermined period of probation, according to a spokesman for the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office

In March 2014, Gonzalez and Esteban Chavez Jr, both 17 at the time, were racing near Earll Drive and 52nd Street when the wreck occurred, reports said.

Gonzalez, who was driving a Ford Mustang, did not stop at a stop sign and collided with a Toyota pickup that was not involved in the race, according to Sgt. Tommy Thompson, a Phoenix police spokesman.

The Toyota crashed through a cinder-block wall and hit 61-year-old landscaper Octavio Grijalva Herrera, who was mowing a lawn, Thompson said.

Herrera was taken to a hospital where he later died of the injuries he suffered in the wreck, police said.

Chavez, 18, was also charged with fleeing the scene after he and the two other passengers left the crash in their Avalanche truck and switched vehicles at home before going to a school in the 3100 block of North 56th Street, Thompson said.

Chavez is still awaiting trial, which is set to begin June 1. Chavez was offered a plea agreement and has until April 3 to accept it, court documents said — azcentral.com

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