REDWOOD CITY -- A San Jose man whose license was already suspended for drunken driving was intoxicated when he sped away from police on Highway 101 and flipped his car, seriously injuring a woman, a prosecutor said.
Andre Roper, 27, pleaded not guilty Wednesday in San Mateo County Superior Court to felony drunken driving charges in the May 19 crash that broke a woman passenger's back and left her hospitalized for 10 days.
Roper sped off after a California Highway Patrol Officer pulled him over around 1:10 a.m. for driving 86 mph near Brisbane, District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said. The officer was walking toward Roper's car when he purportedly took off.
Roper's car flipped not long after that as he lost control in a curve at the South San Francisco freeway exit, Wagstaffe said. Both he and the woman, the only passenger, were tossed onto the pavement by the crash, which left the car on its side. She had to undergo surgery and is expected to need long-term physical therapy.
Roper didn't have a valid driver's license at the time of the crash because it had been suspended due to a 2011 conviction for alcohol-related reckless driving, Wagstaffe said. Testing revealed Roper had a blood alcohol concentration of .16 or double the legal limit for drivers.
Roper was being held at the San Mateo County Jail in Redwood City in lieu of $100,000 bail. An Aug. 19 trial date was set Wednesday for the drunken driving, evading police and driving on a suspended license charges.
Contact Joshua Melvin at 650-348-4335. Follow him at Twitter.com/melvinreport.