A 21-year-old man made his initial appearance in court Monday to face a murder charge for an alleged drunk driving crash that killed another man on state Highway 1 in Pescadero earlier this month, San Mateo County prosecutors said.
Paulino Najera, a Pescadero resident, allegedly caused the crash that occurred at about 8:45 p.m. on Highway 1 just south of Bean Hollow Road, according to the California Highway Patrol.
J. Guadalupe Hernandez Camacho, 63, was a passenger in Najera’s Ford Contour, which was traveling north but crossed into the southbound lane and struck a Toyota 4Runner, CHP officials said.
Camacho was pronounced dead at the scene following the crash, while Najera and the Toyota driver were taken to Stanford Medical Center with major injuries, according to the CHP.
Prosecutors said Najera was driving after hours of drinking tequila and beer with friends at the nearby Muzzi Ranch.
Officers at the scene found 14 cans of beer inside the vehicle, and learned Najera was on probation for two separate misdemeanor drunk driving convictions in January and his license was suspended, according to the district attorney’s office.
He did not enter a plea during his initial arraignment Monday on charges of second-degree murder, vehicular manslaughter, DUI, and driving on a suspended license, prosecutors said.
Najera will return to court on May 21 for appearance of his attorney from the Private Defender Program and to possibly enter a plea. He remains in custody on $10 million bail, prosecutors said.