SANTA CRUZ — An Oakland woman accused of leaving the scene of a downtown Santa Cruz car accident that resulted in the death of a 70-year-old man pleaded not guilty to charges Thursday.

The plea comes after Santa Cruz County Superior Court Judge Timothy Volkmann ruled last month that sufficient evidence existed for the case to proceed to trial.

On Thursday, Joanna Steele”s trial was tentatively set for March 2. Steele, 29, remains free in lieu of $10,000 bail.

On Aug. 24, Adolfo “Adolf” Galvan, of Las Lomas, was stuck by a passing white truck while standing in Pacific Avenue. Galvan slipped into a coma shortly after. He died 11 days later. Santa Cruz police tracked down and arrested Steele at a Pacific Avenue hotel, utilizing witness reports and video surveillance. When tested three hours after the crash, Steele had a 0.15 percent blood alcohol level, police testified earlier.

Steele is facing a maximum four-year prison sentence for a charge of felony leaving the scene of an accident that later resulted in death and misdemeanor drunk driving. —— (c)2015 the Santa Cruz Sentinel (Scotts Valley, Calif.) Visit the Santa Cruz Sentinel (Scotts Valley, Calif.) at Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC AMX-2015-01-16T00:01:00-05:00

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