Man arrested on suspicion of murder in alleged DUI that killed Newport Beach man

Central Justice Center in Santa Ana.
The Central Justice Center on June 16, 2022, in Santa Ana. A suspect from the city of Orange has been accused of murder in a DUI crash that killed a Newport Beach man.
(Kevin Chang / Staff Photographer)

A suspect from the city of Orange pleaded not guilty Wednesday at the Central Justice Center in Santa Ana to charges of murder in a crash that killed a Newport Beach man in May.

Tyler Pitchford, 31, was arrested Tuesday after he was released from a local hospital where he had been recuperating from injuries.

Orange Police Department spokesman Sgt. Phil McMullin said officers responded to the scene on May 20 at 10:29 p.m. McMullin said that, according to witnesses, Pitchford was driving north on Tustin Street when he ran a red light at Taft Avenue, then collided with a Porsche that was turning south at a green light.

The identity of the driver of the Porsche was not available from the county coroner’s office as of press deadline, but the Orange County Register identified the victim as 59-year-old Shane Lowe of Newport Beach.

Lowe was pronounced dead at the scene.

Police allege Pitchford was driving under the influence of multiple narcotics, including fentanyl.

Pitchford is being held in lieu of a bail of $830,500, according to jail records, and is expected to next appear in court for a pretrial settlement conference and bail review on July 20.

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