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Motorcyclist charged in deadly crash faces judge

By Sara Bush
Published On: Mar 11 2013 01:59:37 PM CDT
Updated On: Mar 06 2013 01:48:45 PM CST

Motorcyclist arrested in connection with deadly crash faces judge

Santa Barbara, CALIF. -

New details are emerging in the deadly motorcycle crash in Santa Barbara over the weekend.

22-year old Francisco Rodriguez faces vehicular manslaughter charges.  Investigators say Rodriguez and two of his friends were racing their motorcycles on a narrow stretch of Foothill Road, when two of them crashed.

According to witnesses, Rodriguez did stop immediately after the crash.

"He stood at the embankment and called out to the now deceased motorcyclist.  He didn't get a response.  He got back on his bike and fled the scene," said Santa Barbara police officer, Jaycee Hunter, the lead investigator in the case.

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Officers were able to track Rodriguez down.  But, when they showed up to his house, Rodriguez attempted to run a second time.

"When he saw uniformed officers approaching he fled and we had to go into foot pursuit to catch him," said Hunter.

During his arraignment Tuesday,  Rodriguez asked a judge to lower his bail.  He claimed he was grieving his close friend's death, and needed counseling.

But the judge denied the request.

Rodriguez faces charges including gross vehicular manslaughter.

"Part of the terminology we're using is gross negligence," said Hunter, "and I'd say this is bad gross negligence."

If convicted Rodriguez faces up to 11 years in state prison.  He is expected back in court later this week.

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