HAYWARD -- The trial for a Hayward man accused of killing three teens during a fatal downtown police chase and crash three years ago is underway.
Opening statements took place Monday at the Hayward Hall of Justice in the state's case against Leo Ray Olguin, 25, charged with three counts of murder as well as counts of robbery, evading arrest and felony DUI ending in death or major injury, an Alameda County District Attorney's Office spokesman said.
Authorities say Olguin was drunk and on probation on Dec. 24, 2009, when he drove a car that ran a red light and crashed into a Safeway big rig while fleeing police. He had also skipped out of a halfway house the day prior. The collision on A Street at Foothill Boulevard killed three passengers -- Vanessa Hurtado, 16, Andrew Falcon, 17, and Dominic Hall, 18.
Police said Olguin suffered minor injuries, perhaps because he ducked as the Mazda he was driving plowed through the big rig's undercarriage.
A fifth person in the car, a woman, was seriously hurt. The Safeway driver was unhurt.
Police said that during the chase, Olguin ran stop signs and red lights before crashing under the trailer of the big rig and into a pole. He was arrested at the scene and was found to have a blood-alcohol level of .09, just above the state's legal limit of .08.
The robbery charges are tied to an incident that took place about 30 minutes before the 12:15 a.m. crash, police said. Three people were
During a preliminary hearing last year, a police detective testified that Olguin's statement changed several times but indicated that he was scared of going back to jail and that an unspecified back-seat passenger also urged him to make a break for it, showing Olguin a gun in his hand.
Olguin also told the detective he was driving a car when it was involved in the robbery that happened prior to the crash.
Olguin is being held without bail at the Santa Rita Jail.
The trial before Alameda County Superior Court Judge Roy Hashimoto is slated to continue Tuesday.
Contact Natalie Neysa Alund at 510-293-2469. Follow her at Twitter.com/nataliealund.