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Driver pleads not guilty in crash

He is held at Los Angeles County Jail on suspicion of DUI and injuring a teen bicyclist.

May 06, 2009|By Veronica Rocha

GLENDALE — A 53-year-old man pleaded not guilty Tuesday in Glendale Superior Court to hitting a 16-year-old bicyclist — who was heading home after taking a college entry exam — with his SUV while driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs.

Herbert Davis is charged with felony driving under the influence and causing great bodily injury to Charmaine Alcantara in Saturday’s accident, said Jane Robison, spokeswoman for Los Angeles County district attorney’s office.

Alcantara was still listed in critical condition Tuesday after suffering several broken bones and deep cuts. When paramedics arrived on the scene, her leg was so badly bent that her toes were at her shoulders, police said.

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Davis is being held in lieu of $130,000 bail in a Los Angeles County jail, and is expected to appear May 19 in Superior Court.

Alcantara had been dropped off by a friend’s parent Sunday at Eagle Rock High School for an SAT exam, Glendale Police Det. Ashraf Mankarios said. After the test was done about 2 p.m., she decided to ride her bicycle home instead of catching a ride with her friend.

She called a friend during a stop at Chevy Chase Drive and Brand Boulevard and continued to ride home, Mankarios said. Alcantara was traveling west on Los Feliz Road, but got tired and made a U-turn, riding east on the street sidewalk when she was struck by Davis’ SUV, police said.

He had been driving west on Los Feliz Road near San Fernando Road just after 3:30 p.m. when his SUV veered off the road, jumped a curb, missed hitting a telephone pole and struck a signal control box, police said. The damaged box caused a temporary power outage to homes and businesses along San Fernando Road.

Davis’ car continued to veer to the right alongside a Yoshinoya Beef Bowl Restaurant and hopped another curb to the parking lot and sideswiped a vehicle parked in the first stall, police said. Davis swerved back toward West Los Feliz Road and slammed into five newspaper racks before his car stopped.

Police arrested him immediately, took him to a local hospital for evaluation and later booked him.

Alcantara was taken to Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center where she was treated Tuesday for broken bones and remains in critical condition, Mankarios said.

She had surgery Sunday night on her broken right leg, and doctors put pins and plates into her leg, he said.

“She is in a lot of pain, but is recovering,” Mankarios said.

Alcantara also suffered a deep cut in one of her thighs and fractured her ankle and pelvis, he said.

Some people at the accident scene took pictures of her injuries with their cell phones, Mankarios said.

“It’s absolutely sickening to envision that’s all out there,” he said.

Alcantara’s dad has been visiting her at the hospital in between his two jobs. Her mother works a graveyard shift.

“Dad’s literally not sleeping because he’s not only going to the hospital to see her, but is working two jobs,” Mankarios said.


 VERONICA ROCHA covers public safety and the courts. She may be reached at (818) 637-3232 or by e-mail at veronica.rocha@latimes.com.

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