A 46 year-old man has been charged with two counts of misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter after killing a woman and a young girl who were waiting at a Riverside Transit Authority bus bench last December.
According to an indictment released Monday, Joe D. Williams plead not guilty to all counts filed against him.
The crash happened on December, 28, 2012, after Williams was stopped at a red light at the intersection of Magnolia Avenue and Tyler Street in Riverside. The affidavit stated that Williams didn't immediately drive when the light turned green, but then accelerated quickly when other drivers began honking their horns at him.
Williams veered onto the shoulder of the road, killing 28-year-old Melissa Bernal and a 7-year-old girl, Aniya Mitchell, who were waiting at the bus stop. The parents of the young girl were seriously injured in the crash.
Based on the evidence of the case, officials determined that the level of negligence wasn't sufficient to file for felony charges against Williams. However, given the facts and circumstances of the case, the DA's Office believed it was necessary to take it before the grand jury to get the community's view and opinion.
Williams will be at the Hall of Justice for a pre-trial conference on Feb. 21, 2014.