Driver accused of causing Mission Valley overpass plunge to pleads not guilty
SAN DIEGO (CNS) – A motorist accused of causing a collision that sent a truck off a freeway overpass and into a Mission Valley restaurant below, seriously injuring the other driver, pleaded not guilty Thursday to felony hit-and- run and a misdemeanor count of driving without a license.
Jose Carlos Uribe, 20, who was on probation for false imprisonment and concealing evidence at the time of Sunday afternoon’s accident, faces a maximum of four years and six months in prison if convicted, said Deputy District Attorney Jalyn Wang.
Judge David Szumowski ordered Uribe held without bail on the alleged probation violation and set bail at $100,000 on the hit-and-run case.
Wang said motorists saw Uribe’s car swerving before he hit the right rear of a Ford F250 truck driven by Kenneth Fruedenvoll.
The accident happened about 3 p.m. as the vehicles were transitioning from westbound Interstate 8 to northbound Interstate 805.
Fruedenvoll’s truck slammed through a guardrail and into Dave & Buster’s restaurant 50 feet below before landing upright in a parking lot.
Uribe fled, but a passenger in his SUV came forward, and the defendant was arrested the next day, Wang testified.
The defendant admitted to authorities that he was involved in the collision and left the scene because he was unlicensed, according to the prosecutor.
Fruedenvoll — who was in the Navy — suffered three crushed vertebrae and a fractured vertebrae, and one of the crushed vertebrae is pushing on a nerve causing partial paralysis, Wang said. The victim is scheduled for surgery tomorrow.
A bail review is scheduled for Tuesday, with a readiness set for Oct. 6 and a preliminary hearing for Oct. 8.