Man accused in killing pregnant woman must stand trial

A Carlsbad man accused of causing a freeway crash that killed a pregnant woman and her unborn child must stand trial on charges of gross vehicular manslaughter and hit-and-run causing death, judge ruled Wednesday.

John Francis Sudac, 27, who is also charged with possession of marijuana, will return to court Feb. 24 to be arraigned in Superior Court and to get a trial date.

After a daylong preliminary hearing, Vista Judge Runston Maino ruled that prosecutors had presented enough evidence for Sudac to stand trial.

The defendant - who is out of custody on $200,100 bail - could face 11 years in prison if convicted.

On Jan. 4 about 1 a.m., Sudac was allegedly behind the wheel of a speeding Nissan Altima that clipped the back of a Ford Explorer on Interstate 5, just north of Lomas Santa Fe Drive, killing 24-year-old Yine Gonzalez of Tijuana.

Gonzalez, who was six months pregnant, was partially ejected as the SUV rolled over several times, said CHP Officer Mark Latulippe.

Gonzalez died at a hospital, and her fetus could not be saved. Her husband, 5-year-old daughter and two relatives were treated for minor injuries.

Sudac and an unidentified male passenger ran from the wrecked car, but Sudac surrendered to authorities that night, Latulippe said.

Anyone with information on Sudac’s passenger was asked to call the Highway Patrol in Oceanside, said prosecutor Natalie Villaflor.

A man accused of stopping near the accident site and stealing the victim’s purse was arrested but ultimately not charged in the case.