PLEASANTON -- The Pleasanton teen accused of fatally striking a woman out on a Sunday bicycle ride was tailgating and made an unsafe pass on a narrow, winding road shortly before the crash, a witness said during a preliminary hearing Wednesday.

Cody Hall, 19, was arrested after he hit and killed Diana Hersevoort, a 58-year-old Dublin resident, after losing control of his Dodge Neon on June 9 on the curvy, rural road near Pleasant Ridge Regional Park that is popular with cyclists.

Hall was initially accused of vehicular manslaughter and felony reckless driving in the crash. But after investigators found tweets where he had boasted about driving fast and recklessly, they upped the charge to murder, part of a growing trend of social media posts being used as evidence against suspects. Hall has been kept in custody at Santa Rita Jail since August.

On Wednesday, the lanky young man with closely cropped hair hung his head as prosecutors detailed his history of reckless driving. That history included an August 2011 collision near Foothill High School in Pleasanton in which Hall rear-ended another car and a November 2011 citation for driving up to 75 mph in an area with a 45 mph speed limit.

More than a dozen of Hall's family members and friends, including his mother, attended Wednesday's hearing, but all declined to comment. Hall's mother had a rosary hung around her neck, and another relative quietly prayed before the start of the proceedings to determine whether there's enough evidence to try the teen.

On the other side of the courtroom sat the Hersevoorts, including Diana's daughters, and longtime friend Joanne Norman.

"This is not easy for either family to go through," said Norman, a Pacheco resident. "It was just so senseless and so avoidable."

Diana's husband, Joe Hersevoort, who suffered a broken leg in the crash, was also in court but was kept in a separate room because he is considered a witness in the case.

Joe Hersevoort, a mechanic at the Port of Oakland, had encouraged his wife of more than 30 years to start cycling, and the couple looked forward to their Sunday ride and picnic as cherished time together, Norman said.

"You think that it would be easier with time, but it just gets harder," she said, adding that the family wants a formal apology from Hall as well as the permanent loss of his driver's license.

Four witnesses testified Wednesday, including two police officers and a woman who was driving her children to swim practice when Hall came upon her on the two-lane road, tailgated for a bit then crossed a double yellow line and passed, despite oncoming traffic.

"I was scared," said Laura Oka, who said she considered following the vehicle but could not catch up because the driver was going so fast. .

The hearing will continue April 17 at the Gale Schenone Hall of Justice in Pleasanton.

Follow Karina Ioffee at Twitter.com/kioffee.