POSTED: 9:46 a.m. HST, Jan 13, 2014
LAST UPDATED: 12:27 p.m. HST, Jan 13, 2014
A 39-year-old Ewa Beach man today entered a plea of not guilty to a charge of hitting a pickup truck head-on after driving the wrong way on the H-2 freeway, critically injuring the pickup's driver 15 months ago.
Pedro Ortiz was charged last week for first-degree negligent injury, driving with a suspended license and hitting several city road signs while driving the wrong way on the H-2 on Nov. 8, 2012. His bail was set at $25,000.
Circuit Court Judge Richard Perkins set Ortiz's trial date for the week of March 17 before Circuit Judge Randal Lee. Perkins also confirmed Ortiz's bail of $25,000.
Police said the suspect drove a Toyota Sequoia SUV south in a northbound lane of the freeway, about a mile south of the Meheula Parkway overpass. The suspect's vehicle hit the Mazda pickup truck, which was traveling north.
Ortiz entered the freeway by using the Mililani Mauka offramp and was driving south on northbound lanes when he collided with the Mazda truck, police said.
The Waipahu man, who was driving the Mazda pickup truck, was pinned in the cab of the vehicle and taken to the hospital in critical condition. Ortiz suffered minor injuries.
In 2002, Ortiz was convicted of drunken driving. He was fined $150 and his license was suspended for 150 days.