Update 4:21 p.m.: Motorist faces trial in electrocution deaths
A Southern California man has been ordered to stand trial for vehicular manslaughter in the unusual electrocution deaths of two good Samaritans.
A Los Angeles judge heard testimony Wednesday from eight witnesses including a man whose wife perished when she tried to help Aman Samsonian, the driver of an SUV that hit a fire hydrant and electrical pole.
The judge concluded that Samsonian was driving negligently and had a disregard for the safety of others when he caused the accident.
The judge called it a grossly negligent act and said there was sufficient evidence to find him guilty if he goes to trial.
Samsonian's attorney argued that the accident was unforeseeable and his client did not cause the deaths.
Arraignment is set for Aug. 7.
Update 7:32 a.m.: Hearing set for man in electrocution deaths
A preliminary hearing will determine if a man will be tried on vehicular manslaughter charges for the unusual electrocution deaths of two good Samaritans.
The lawyer representing Aman Samsonian in Wednesday's hearing says the facts are so uncommon that he could find no comparable case.
Samsonian's car was traveling at high speed last August when it crashed into a fire hydrant and toppled a light pole. Two women trying to help him stepped into electrified water and were killed.
Others tried to help, including Samsonian and a police officer, and they also suffered electric shocks.
Samsonian is charged with two counts of vehicular manslaughter.
Police say drugs or alcohol were not involved but the car was exceeding the 35 mph speed limit.
A key issue will be whether the defendant's actions caused the deaths.