REDWOOD CITY -- A Daly City man charged with killing his girlfriend and two passengers in a drunken driving crash Memorial Day in Colma will face a felony jury trial after pleading not guilty to all charges in Superior Court.
Paul Diaz, 25, pleaded not guilty to three counts of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and one felony hit-and-run charge stemming from the fatal crash that killed his girlfriend and two acquaintances after a night of partying at San Francisco's Carnaval, deputy district attorney Sean Gallagher said.
The man reportedly hit another car and a cemetery retaining wall at about 90 mph, shearing his Ford Mustang in half and killing everyone inside except Diaz.
Diaz, they said, pulled himself out of the wreckage in the 2000 block of Hillside Boulevard about 7:30 a.m. and briefly went over to each of the bodies as witnesses arrived and told him his passengers were dead. He then ran away from the chaotic scene and hid for five hours before turning himself in to police, prosecutors said.
Ruvin Abel Vazquez, 22; Jonathan Jade Mouton, 21; and Diaz's girlfriend Rosa Maria Falla, 23, all of Daly City, were identified as the victims ejected from Diaz's Mustang. Toxicology tests later revealed that Diaz, who was convicted in 2009 of misdemeanor drunken driving and spent time in jail for narcotics possession, had a blood alcohol content of .13 at the time of the crash, Gallagher said.
San Mateo County Superior Court Commissioner Elizabeth Hill hiked Diaz's bail from $750,000 to $1 million in late May amid opposition from defense attorney Cristina Mazzei, who argued Diaz didn't have an extensive criminal record and did the right thing by turning himself in to police.
Defense attorneys did not return calls for comment Wednesday afternoon.
Diaz remains in San Mateo County Jail in lieu of $1 million bail, and will return to court Jan. 28 to set a date for his jury trial.