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Two charged in car racing death of Santa Clarita man

August 8, 2012 |  3:07 pm

This post has been corrected, as indicated below.

Two men have been arrested in connection with the death of a Santa Clarita Valley man who was a passenger in a car that crashed during what authorities say was a street race. 

According to a statement from the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station, Colt Sean Doherty was driving the car that Dakota Demott was riding in when the car crashed in January about 10:50 p.m. on Sand Canyon Road in Canyon Country. Demott, 19, of Canyon Country was killed.  

A felony complaint filed Monday with the Los Angeles County district attorney's office charged Doherty, also 19 and from Canyon Country, with one count of second-degree murder, one count of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and one count of driving under the influence causing injury, said D.A.'s spokeswoman Jane Robison.

The charges were filed “after an extensive investigation,” the Sheriff’s Department statement said. “The collision occurred as a result of street racing.”

Authorities identified 20-year-old Thomas Joseph Vensko of Canyon Country as the driver of the car that was racing Doherty. Vensko was charged with one count of second-degree murder and one count of vehicular manslaughter, Robison said.

Doherty and Vensko are each being held on $1-million bail, sheriff's deputies said. According to D.A.'s officials, they face the possibility of 15 years to life in prison.

[For the record, 3:36 p.m. Dec. 1, 2013: An earlier version of this post incorrectly identified Demott as a woman.]


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-- Ann M. Simmons in Santa Clarita