Witnesses sought in fatal street racing case

November 20, 2009 4:14:19 PM PST
The Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office is seeking additional witnesses as prosecutors prepare their case against two men allegedly involved in a street race last month that killed a young woman and seriously injured her boyfriend.

San Jose residents Emmanuel Pourmand, 21, and Joseph Inocencio, 23, were arraigned in Santa Clara County Superior Court this morning. Both men face felony counts of vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence, and reckless driving causing injury, according to the Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office.

According to police, both men were speeding east on Branham Lane the night of Oct. 22. Pourmand was driving an orange Nissan 350Z, and Inocencio was in a black BMW 325i.

At about 9:45 p.m., they both lost control of their cars near the intersection of Branham and Prince Royal Place. Pourmand's Nissan struck a silver Volkswagen, killing the driver, 20-year-old Alyson Snow of Fremont. Snow's boyfriend, Daniel Hendricks, 23, was also injured.

Initial police reports indicated the two street racers did not know one another, although that has not been confirmed, according to Dana Overstreet, the supervising deputy district attorney overseeing the case.

The collision occurred in a busy area at an hour when people were still on the roads, Overstreet said.

"There were other people driving in the vicinity," she said. "Sometimes you don't even know you're a witness."

Witnesses told investigators that just before the crash, the two cars were speeding on nearby Pearl Avenue. When they turned east onto Branham Lane, the Nissan and the BMW cut off a driver in a MINI Cooper, narrowly avoiding a collision.

Overstreet said her team would particularly like to locate the driver of the MINI Cooper. However anyone who may have seen the cars speeding or driving recklessly that night, or witnessed the collision, is asked to call district attorney investigator Ray Hernandez at (408) 792-2816.

Pourmand and Inocencio will return to court Dec. 1 for a bail hearing.

Street racing has been blamed as the cause of several fatalities around the Bay Area recently.

A 6-year-old girl was killed and her mother seriously injured in Menlo Park on Nov. 12 when a man apparently involved in a street race with another vehicle crashed into their car. Police are seeking a person of interest, 24-year-old Shannon Fox of East Palo Alto.

Just two weeks before the fatal crash on Branham Lane, a 23-year-old San Jose man died when his car lost control on Silver Creek Valley Road and hit a tree during an apparent street race with a friend. The second driver is facing charges for his role in the Oct. 8 race, according to police.


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