Man now facing murder charge in Sunday street-racing incident that killed woman

Local News

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — The man arrested on Monday in connection with the death of a woman on Old River Road in an illegal street-racing accident Sunday is now facing a second-degree murder charge.

The Bakersfield Police Department arrested 50-year-old Ronald Dean Pierce on Monday on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol, reckless driving causing an injury, participating in an illegal speed contest and making an unsafe turn.

On Tuesday, the department added a murder charge, which bumped up Pierce’s bail from $102,103 to $1 million, according to Kern County Sheriff’s Office records. 

According to BPD, Pierce was racing a Mustang against another vehicle on Old River Road between Ming Avenue and White Oak Drive at around 4:45 p.m. when he lost control of the vehicle and struck a van not involved in the race. 

The impact caused the van to spin out of control into oncoming traffic, where it was then hit by a crane truck, killing 58-year-old Maria Bianey Navarro and injuring two juveniles. 

Pierce is scheduled to make his first court appearance this afternoon.

BPD said charges for the driver of the Dodge Ram are still pending and the case will be submitted to the Kern County District Attorney’s Office.

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