A truck driver pleaded not guilty today to killing a Long Beach bicyclist when a shipping container fell from his trailer and struck the victim in 2015.
Utah resident Wesley Phil Blake, 50, entered his plea during his arraignment at the Foltz Criminal Justice Center in Los Angeles and posted $50,000, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office. He was charged with one felony count of vehicular manslaughter.
Authorities said that on October 27, 2015, Blake was driving a truck and pulling a flatbed trailer carrying a shipping container in Carson when the container struck the bottom of a railroad bridge and was knocked loose from the trailer.
The container landed on its side, crushing 51-year-old Robert Castorena who had been riding his bicycle along the road, according to Deputy District Attorneys Richard Magleby and Seza Mikikian who are prosecuting the case.
He is scheduled to return to court on August 9 for a preliminary hearing. The case remains under investigation by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
If convicted, Blake faces up to six years in state prison.
Stephanie Rivera covers immigration and the north, west and central parts of Long Beach. Reach her at [email protected] or on Twitter at @StephRivera88.
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