Man accused of killing local caregiver in fatal crash appears in court


A Canyon Country man accused of vehicular manslaughter in a crash that killed 21-year-old Santa Clarita caregiver Meaghan York earlier this year appeared in court Thursday to set a date for his preliminary hearing.

Joshua Austin, 20, appeared in San Fernando Superior Court, where he was told to return to court Jan. 23, 2020, to set a date for a preliminary hearing, Venusse Navid, spokeswoman for the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office, said Friday.

During a preliminary hearing, prosecutors will present evidence in the case, and the defense can respond; the judge can then decide if the case should go to trial.

Austin was arrested Feb. 12, 2019, on suspicion of vehicular manslaughter while driving under the influence of alcohol, with gross negligence, a felony.

The day before he was arrested, the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station was notified of an injury traffic collision involving three vehicles — a Ford Ranger pickup, Hyundai Elantra and Toyota Prius — at the intersection of Soledad Canyon Road and Sand Canyon Road in Canyon Country.

York, who drove the Hyundai Elantra, was killed in the crash. She worked as the caregiver for a child, and also worked with other children for the ministry at the Real Life Church in Valencia.

The driver of the Toyota Prius was taken to the hospital with minor injuries on the night of the crash.

Preliminary indications at the time of the crash were that Austin, driver of the Ford Ranger pickup, was traveling westbound on Soledad Canyon Road, where he allegedly failed to stop at a red light, and collided with the driver’s side of the Hyundai Elantra, Shirley Miller, spokeswoman for the SCV Sheriff’s Station, wrote in a news release issued in January.

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