Man Charged With Murder In 405 Crash That Killed 2 Workers

TORRANCE (CBS) – An alleged drunken driver involved in a two-car crash that killed two construction workers on the 405 freeway was charged Wednesday with murder and other counts.

23-year-old Yocio Jonathan Gomez, who didn’t enter a plea in court, faces two counts each of second-degree murder, gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and driving under the influence.

The DUI charges allege he has two prior DUI convictions from July 2008 and April 2009.

The crash happened July 22 around 3:30 a.m. near Torrance.

Gomez was allegedly driving a blue Ford Explorer that smashed into the back of a black Lexus SUV driven by Stephan Christopher Caserta.

The SUV spun out of control, striking three workers and overturning on its roof.

56-year-old Ramon Lopez and 58-year-old Ricardo Zamora, who were employed by a contracting firm under Caltrans supervision, were killed. A third worker was injured.

Gomez will remain in jail in lieu of $5 million bail.

He faces up to life in prison if convicted, according to the District Attorney’s Office.

Prosecutors have not yet reviewed the potential case against Caserta, who is free on bail and due in court August 10.

(©2012 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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