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Local teen charged with vehicular homicide

By Linda Looney-Bond

lbond@news-daily.com

A Riverdale teenager has been charged with vehicular homicide, in connection with an automobile crash in which his passenger was ejected from the vehicle, and later died from his injuries.

Hau Quang Le, 19, was granted $10,000 bond during a first appearance hearing, Thursday, in Clayton County Magistrate Court, according to his attorney, Christopher Palazzola.

Le faces one count of misdemeanor homicide by vehicle, in the second degree, and one count of failure to yield at a stop sign, according to court records.The crash occurred Friday, on East Fayetteville Road at Valley Lake Drive.

Eighteen-year-old Jesse Pich, of Riverdale, who was a passenger in the Toyota Camry Le was driving, was ejected from the vehicle, which flipped after it collided with a Nissan Altima, according to a Clayton County Police incident report.

Pich was pinned under the vehicle, eventually freed, and transported to Southern Regional Medical Center, according to the report. He was pronounced dead at the hospital later that night, according to Officer Otis Wills, III, a spokesman for the police department.

The driver of the Nissan Altima, Trindolynn Gloster Scott, of Riverdale, was not issued a citation, as a result of the crash.

Palazzola said Le was in the process of bonding out of jail Thursday evening.

"Part of the reason we wanted to get him in, and processed so fast, was so he could go to his friend's [Pich's] funeral, which will be tomorrow," Palazzola said Thursday.

"We maintain that he [Le] is not guilty on both charges," said Palazzola. "From my preliminary investigation, we believe we have an independent witness. That witness was on the scene and spoke to police," he added.

Palazzola said the case will now go to the Clayton County Solicitor General's office, which will draw up an accusation.

In a separate case, Le also faces one count of reckless conduct, and one count of "firearms discharge" near a highway. According to an accusation filed in Clayton County State Court by Solicitor General Tasha Mosley, on Dec. 15, Le is accused of firing a weapon into the air, within fifty yards of a public street on Aug. 29, 2009.

"Again, we completely assert his innocence," said Palazzola, who is also representing Le in the second case.

Le is scheduled to appear for an arraignment on the reckless conduct and firearms charges, on April 20, in Clayton County State Court, according to online court records.