A 30-year-old Southern California man who worked as a Lyft driver was arrested Wednesday on vehicular manslaughter charges in connection with the death of a 70-year-old passenger three months ago.
The driver, who has been identified as Andy Van Pham, was booked in Orange County, California, and is now being held on $10,000 bail, according to online jail records. The incident occurred around 7 a.m. on April 4 in Tustin, Calif., a representative for the Tustin Police Department confirms to PEOPLE. The Orange County Sheriff’s Department additionally confirms that the victim was Tustin resident Margie Quibol. Van Pham allegedly fell asleep behind the wheel that morning, losing control and causing the vehicle to hit a light pole. Quibol later died from her injuries, police said.
“After an extensive investigation by the Tustin Police Department’s Major Accident Investigation Team, it was determined the driver, 30-year-old Andy Van Pham was driving with negligence, resulting in the death of the victim,” police said in a statement. After being taken into custody on Wednesday, Pham made his first court appearance on Friday and pled not guilty to the manslaughter charge, as well as possession of drug paraphernalia, providing false information to a police officer, and making an unsafe turn or lane change.
Pham will return to court on August 9th for a pretrial hearing. Lyft released a statement to CBS news in regards to this event where they confirmed that Pham has been permanently “de-activated” as a Lyft driver. “We are heartbroken by this tragic incident and our hearts are with the rider’s family during this incredibly difficult time,” the statement said.
ARTICLE: PAUL MURDOCH
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: PEOPLE.COM
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