Santa Cruz County

Prunedale woman could face trial in crash that severely injured Watsonville boy

SANTA CRUZ, Calif. - A 19-year-old Prunedale woman could be headed to trial on charges of reckless driving for an accident earlier this year that left a boy in a coma.

A Santa Cruz County Superior Court judge on Tuesday ruled there was sufficient evidence to hold Brenda Velador to trial on a reckless driving charge and a special allegation of causing great bodily injury, specifically a brain injury.

Velador, who is out on bail, is due back in court on Sept. 16 for arraignment on the charges and to set a trial date.

Prosecutors say Velador sped through an intersection in Watsonville in March in order to try to make it through a traffic light before it turned red. She struck 10-year-old Jesse Ventura, who was on his scooter in the crosswalk with his family. Ventura has been in critical condition at a San Jose trauma center ever since.

Velador stopped to speak with police immediately after the collision, but was not arrested at that time.  Based on the results of their investigation, police later requested the Santa Cruz County District Attorney's Office file charges against her. A warrant was issued for reckless driving causing serious bodily injury

Velador was made aware of the arrest warrant but police said she refused to cooperate and turn herself into authorities. Watsonville Police eventually located her in Vacaville, where they arrested her last month.

comments powered by Disqus