The families of two pedestrians who were hit and killed in Oildale, gathered in a downtown Bakersfield courtroom Monday, where the deputy accused of hitting them appeared before a judge.
Deputy John Swearengin has been charged with two counts of vehicular manslaughter. A crowded court left the families of both victims waiting for hours, only to learn Swearengin's preliminary hearing would not go on as scheduled.
For the second time, the hearing was delayed. The judge apologized and said it was a lack of judicial resources, out of his control. Swearengin has pleaded not guilty to two felony charges of manslaughter.
California Highway Patrol officers say on December 16th, 2011, Swearengin hit 30-year-old Chrystal Clevenger and 24-year-old Daniel Hiler as they pushed a broken-down motorcycle across Norris Road.
Swearengin was driving to a call for a stolen car. According to the CHP, Swearengin was traveling 80 miles per hour, nearly twice the posted speed limit, without his emergency lights or siren on.
The CHP said the victims were not jaywalking, and therefore, not responsible for the accident.
Swearengin is out of custody and due back in court March 28th.