Prosecutors charge second driver in alleged street racing crash that killed woman

Crime Watch

Ronald Pierce covers his face during a court hearing in November.

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — Prosecutors on Monday charged a man with gross vehicular manslaughter and other crimes in connection with an alleged street racing crash that killed a woman.

Israel Maldonado, 34, was arrested last week in connection with the Nov. 24 crash. He has posted bail and is out of custody.

Maldonado is scheduled to be formally arraigned Dec. 13.

The other alleged racer, Ronald Pierce Jr., 50, faces charges including second-degree murder and remains in custody on $1 million bail.

Police say the two men raced each other along Old River Road, with Pierce’s vehicle reaching speeds of 133 mph.

Pierce lost control of his Ford Mustang and hit a minivan that was not involved in the race, according to police. The impact knocked the minivan into oncoming traffic, where a crane truck slammed into it.

The minivan’s driver, Maria Bianey Navarro, 58, died at the scene, and two juveniles in the minivan suffered moderate to major injuries.

Pierce is next due in court Wednesday.

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