LAMONT, Calif. (KGET) — Family of three women killed in a crash near Lamont were outraged Tuesday when a judge set bail at $150,000 for the driver authorities said was responsible.
Yolanda Godinez, 36, Darli Santiago, 28, and Gabina Santiago de Arias, 56, died early Friday when the vehicle they were in was hit at the intersection of South Edison and Di Giorgio roads, according to California Highway Patrol. They were declared dead at the scene.
Officers say José de Jésus Velazquez-Gómez, 38, ran a stop sign and collided with the women’s vehicle. He received minor injuries.
A public defender entered not-guilty pleas to three counts of vehicular manslaughter on Velazquez-Gómez’s behalf Tuesday afternoon, and his next court date was set for Nov. 17. There was some discussion about bail, but Judge Bryan K. Stainfield ultimately set it at $150,000.
That prompted tears and outbursts on the part of family members of the women who attended the hearing in Lamont.
One man stood up and begged the judge to hold Velasquez-Gómez without bail, saying someone who killed three people doesn’t deserve a shot at being released. Another person said this wasn’t justice, and someone loudly swore.
Stainfield said the hearing was over and the family filed out.
“There’s no justice being made, and we feel like, we feel ignored,” said Heriberto Arias, son of Santiago De Arias, after the hearing.