Hearing scheduled this month in fatal Panama Lane crash

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — A hearing is scheduled this month in the case of a 51-year-old man facing murder and drunken driving charges in connection to a deadly crash in southwest Bakersfield.

Jose Torres is being held without bail in the Aug. 6 crash at the intersection of Panama Lane and Akers Road. He’s charged with murder, gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, two felony DUI counts, giving false identification to a peace officer and driving without a license, according to court records.

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A readiness hearing is set for Feb. 16.

According to police, Torres drove west on Panama Lane at about 10:21 p.m. and ran a red light, colliding with a vehicle headed north on Akers Road. The other driver suffered fatal injuries.

Torres provided a breath sample that showed a blood-alcohol content of 0.11%, above legal limit of 0.08%, according to a court filing. He gave officers two different names and dates of birth, police said, and a DMV records check showed he has never been issued a driver’s license.

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