Vehicular homicide charges against Benny Sitinjak and Jose Hernandez-Castellanos in fatal Aurora street race

Early yesterday morning, the Aurora Police Department issued information about an apparent street race at the intersection of South Peoria Street and East Yale Avenue in which one of the drivers died. Later in the day, the APD issued mug shots of two men in the incident: Benny Sitinjak, 34, and Jose Hernandez-Castellanos, who turned 28 on Monday. Both men have been charged with vehicular homicide, a class-3 felony, and they've had Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, detainers placed on them. Alert Peter Boyles.

Click "Continue" to see the photo of Hernandez-Castellanos and read the original release about the circumstances surrounding the death.

Fatal Accident

CASE NUMBER: 09- 28899

On July 14, 2009, at about 10:00 P.M. Aurora Police and Fire Rescue received a call of an injury accident in the intersection of East Yale Avenue and South Peoria Street. An arriving officer found an older white Chevy Camaro and a red Jeep Cherokee had collided in the intersection. The driver of the Camaro was pinned in the car and was unconscious. The driver of the Cherokee was arguing with the driver of black Pontiac G8. The officer separated the two drivers while Fire Rescue responded.

Aurora Fire paramedics checked on the driver of the Camaro and found he had succumbed to massive injuries suffered in the collision. The driver of the Cherokee was later transported to a local hospital with minor injuries. The Pontiac was a non-contact vehicle.

The investigation revealed the driver of the Cherokee and the driver of the Pontiac had been traveling southbound on Peoria for several blocks. During this time the two drivers engaged in what witnesses described as a race. As the two vehicles approached the intersection with Yale, the Camaro which had been northbound began turning westbound on Yale. The red Cherokee struck the right front of the Camaro. The momentum of the Cherokee pushed the Camaro backwards through a signal light pole, coming to rest against a street light pole in the median. The Cherokee severely penetrated the passenger compartment of the Camaro coming to rest on top of the passenger seat.

The investigation is on-going but at this time it is believed none of the drivers know each other. All three cars were occupied by only the drivers. Alcohol does not appear to factor in this accident but speed is considered a contributing factor. Witnesses report the signal lights were green for northbound and southbound traffic. Charges are pending at this time.

The names of those involved are being withheld until notification of family has been made.

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts