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Palm Springs man pleads not guilty to street racing crash

A man who allegedly ran a red light during a high-speed street race in Palm Springs, triggering a crash that seriously injured another motorist, pleaded not guilty Wednesday to reckless driving and other charges.

Steven Howlett, 28, of Palm Springs was arrested last Saturday in connection with the June 4 noontime crash at the intersection of Ramon and Vella roads, just south of the Palm Springs International Airport. He’s accused of racing with another driver at speeds of more than 60 miles per hour along Ramon Road, then running a red light and broadsiding a Hyundai Elantra in the
intersection, according to the arrest warrant declaration.

The Hyundai’s driver suffered fractures to his spine and internal bleeding, the declaration states.

Howlett allegedly told police that he was racing another driver at around 60 mph, though witnesses told officers that he was traveling as fast as 80 mph. The other driver was not identified in court documents, but the declaration stated that Howlett and a witness told police that person was
driving a BMW.

Prosecutors charged Howlett late last month with felony counts of reckless driving causing injury and willfully and unlawfully engaging in a speed contest. He’s being held at the Larry D. Smith Correctional Facility in Banning in lieu of $60,000 bail and will return to court on Dec. 22 for a
felony settlement conference.

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