Car involved in fatal crash was stunt driving in Bayview 

click to enlarge In remembrance: A memorial at the corner of Griffith  Street and Thomas Avenue in the Bayview was placed at the site of a tragic accident Friday that led to the death of a teen. The young driver is being charged with leaving the scene of a crash that killed his friend. - MIKE KOOZMIN/THE S.F. EXAMINER
  • Mike Koozmin/The S.F. Examiner
  • In remembrance: A memorial at the corner of Griffith Street and Thomas Avenue in the Bayview was placed at the site of a tragic accident Friday that led to the death of a teen. The young driver is being charged with leaving the scene of a crash that killed his friend.

A young man accused of leaving the scene of a crash that killed his friend in the Bayview district Friday had been spinning doughnuts with his car prior to the accident, prosecutors said.

Daniel Lara, 18, of San Francisco appeared in court Wednesday on five felony counts related to the crash that claimed the life of 19-year-old Eduardo Perez, who died in his brother’s arms at the scene, authorities said. Bail was set at $900,000, and Lara is expected to enter a plea Friday.

The incident unfolded about 8 p.m. Friday when Lara was allegedly driving drunk and “spinning” his four-door Honda Civic with a group of friends near the intersection of Griffith Street and Thomas Avenue, which is in an industrial park north of Candlestick Point State Recreation Area.

Lara apparently lost control and the car flipped onto its side, Assistant District Attorney Alex Bastian said. Half of Perez’s his body was hanging out the front passenger window at the time of the crash.

A group of friends helped push the car back onto its wheels, Bastian said, and Perez was pulled from the vehicle by his older brother. The badly injured Perez died soon after.

Lara allegedly then drove off in the Honda and abandoned it about a block away. But he returned to the scene, accompanied by his father, and responding officers took him into custody, Bastian said.

Witnesses reported seeing someone toss a nearly empty bottle of E&J Brandy over a fence near the crash scene, Bastian said.

Early evidence indicates that prior to the crash there might have been a gathering resembling a “sideshow.” A sideshow is an illegal spectator event born in Oakland in the 1980s in which groups take over a space and spin doughnuts or perform other car tricks.

A worker at a nearby manufacturing plant said sideshows “happen all the time” in the area.

“During the day it’s happened about five or six times,” said the worker, who wished to remain anonymous. “At night, you don’t want to know. … We never leave here alone.”

Police and prosecutors could not confirm whether a sideshow was taking place at the time of Perez’s death.

A memorial to Perez remained at the crash scene Wednesday. It included a wooden cross topped with a 49ers beanie, stuffed animals, photos and notes. It also had 40-ounce bottles of beer, blunt wraps and athletic equipment.

Possible evidence of the crash — a skid mark, bent street sign, blood and motor oil — also remained. The curb was chipped and on the ground was a “C,” presumably from the lettering on the Honda Civic’s body.

maldax@sfexaminer.com

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