The driver of a stolen pickup truck that veered off Pacific Coast Highway and down an embankment, killing a passenger, pleaded not guilty today to vehicular manslaughter.
Nolan Jr. Campbell, 36, of Cerritos, was charged with one felony count each of vehicular manslaughter, evading an officer causing injury, leaving the scene and unlawful taking of a vehicle.
The charges also include a special allegation that he fled the scene.
Campbell allegedly sped away from police near 20th Street and Pacific Avenue in Long Beach on Nov. 24. When he tried to turn south onto the 103 (Terminal Island) Freeway, the car went over the embankment, flipped several times and both Campbell and his passenger, Ra Thongphun, were thrown from the car, according to police.
Thongphun, 30, of Long Beach, sustained massive head trauma and died at the scene.
Investigators said Campbell, taken to the hospital with non-life- threatening injuries, may have been under the influence of a controlled substance at the time of the crash.
The 2003 black GMC Sierra pickup truck had been reported stolen earlier that day.
A preliminary hearing to determine whether there is sufficient evidence for Campbell to stand trial is scheduled for Dec. 16.
-- City News Service