Driver Charged With Manslaughter in Deaths of 12

<i> Associated Press</i>

Twelve vehicular manslaughter charges were filed against the driver of a pickup carrying 20 people that crashed in an irrigation ditch, killing 12 passengers.

Wenndever Ordonez, 23, was to be arraigned on the felony charges this week, Deputy Dist. Atty. Steve Sinfeld said.

Ordonez was driving a compact pickup south of Barstow on Interstate 15 when it crashed in the ditch March 9. The truck was crammed with passengers who apparently entered the United States illegally.

The manslaughter charges were filed Friday. Also filed were misdemeanor charges of being an unlicensed driver, having a fraudulent driver’s license, making an unsafe turning movement and not wearing a seat belt.