LOS ANGELES - The preliminary hearing for the suspected DUI driver who hit a total of six pedestrians, including two FOX 11 crew members, last month in Hollywood has been postponed Tuesday.
In addition to the hearing being pushed back, a new video of the crash had surfaced, seemingly from one of the traffic cameras on the busy Hollywood street.
On March 19, FOX 11 reporter Hal Eisner and photojournalist Joab Perez were in the middle of their assignment on the reopening of El Capitan Theatre, which was welcoming back limited crowds after a year of pandemic-related closures. Along with FOX 11's crew members, the street was also packed with tourists and other media members.
"I barely saw a flash of the truck," said a limping Perez, who was just released from the hospital but is still being treated for serious injuries. "Next thing I knew, I was inside the store, under the door – I am happy to be alive!"
No word on what is in the video, but neither the DA or public defenders on the case have seen it. The man who was driving the vehicle, 55-year-old Carlos Alan Gale, was in court. He has pled not guilty to felony DUI charges that may carry enhancements in this case.
Not only were the injuries severe enough that some of the victims remain in hospitals or recovery centers, but investigators also say Gale blew a .15 on a breathalyzer that day. That’s almost twice the legal limit that usually is the cutting-off point indicating someone is too drunk to drive.
He is not in custody, as he was released with the promise to not drive, drink and return to court, due to COVID-19 health restrictions in jails. He is also ordered to wear an ankle monitor.
Neither Gale nor his attorney provided a comment on Tuesday.
Perez, looking at the suspect walking away, said, "It felt somehow wrong. I don’t hold anything in my heart against him, but it seems wrong that he is walking around when six of us were so badly injured, are still hurting, or still hospitalized."
The next court date is scheduled for Thursday, May 6.
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Hal Eisner has worked in television news in Los Angeles for more than 39 years, with most of those years being with FOX 11 and My 13. He is the host of In Depth and has a podcast titled, What the Hal? Eisner also organizes an annual news camp for young students aspiring to be journalists. Camp News has been taking place for over 20 years.
Joab Perez has been with FOX 11 for nearly three years. Anchor Elex Michaelson says Perez brings "passion and positivity to every story he works on." Perez recently became a father.