Mexican Driver Arrested in Cyclist's Death Has Criminal Past
The man accused of striking and killing a cyclist in Chula Vista
was arraigned in his hospital room Thursday.
Michael Reyes, 29, has been undergoing treatment at the UCSD
Medical Center Trauma Unit for injuries he sustained in the
crash Monday near East J Street and Dennis Avenue.
Cyclist David Voigt was riding home from his job at the
Swee****er Water Authority when he was hit and killed by a
stolen vehicle being driven by Reyes.
The impact of the Nissan Maxima was so great, it split Voigt’s
bike in two, smashed through a utility pole and then split a
tree trunk that was half the width of the car.
Chula Vista police say Reyes was drunk behind the wheel at the
time of the crash.
During his arraignment, Reyes laid in a hospital bed in apparent
discomfort, his bandaged left leg propped up at an angle.
Through a public defender, he pleaded not guilty to charges
related to the fatal accident that killed Voigt.
Superior Court Judge Stephanie Sontag did not allow any
recording devices inside the small hospital arraignment at UCSD
Medical Center. Reyes was ordered held on $500,000 bail.
Reyes waived the reading of charges during his arraignment by
telling the judge “yeah,” when asked if he agreed. According to
deputy district attorney Carlos Varela, Reyes is facing five
counts including gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated,
car theft and possession of methamphetamine. The charges carry a
maximum sentence of 15 years and 4 months behind bars.
Four of Voigt’s family members were in the hospital room during
Reyes’ arraignment. A pool reporter inside the room said Voigt’s
father said, “I want to get a good look at him,” and then shook
The family walked out of the hospital but did not want to talk
NBC7 has learned Reyes has a long criminal past and was on
probation for a January drug conviction at the time of the fatal
collision. During the arraignment, the prosecuting attorney
specified three previous cases for the judge to consider at
Reyes’ next hearing.
Reyes’ older brother, who asked not to be identified, told NBC7
the family is very sad about what happened Monday.
They extend to the Voigt family their very deepest sympathy, the
Court records indicate Reyes was not only on probation at the
time of the crash but also was convicted of methamphetamine
possession less than two months ago.
And there's mo Reyes' criminal history includes at least
seven felony cases dating back just in the past ten years.
The suspect's brother does not excuse the behavior but said,
"Michael has been going through many life difficulties in this
Voight was a father, husband and an avid cyclist.
His death has touched many lives reflected by the sidewalk
shrine that grows daily.
Wednesday night a ghost bike was chained to it.
The bike painted all white serves as a reminder of yet another
bicyclist death in San Diego and as a quiet statement of support
of every cyclist's right to safely share the road.
A readiness conference has been scheduled for Reyes for Mar. 20.
His preliminary hearing date is set for Apr. 16. Neither the
prosecutor nor hospital would comment on Reyes’ injuries or when
he might be released from the hospital and transferred to county
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