Not guilty plea in fatal wrong-way crash

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A Sacramento man who reportedly killed a Loomis motorist while driving the wrong way on Interstate 80, has pleaded not guilty to murder, but could face additional charges. Vasiliy Popov, Jr., 25, is currently charged with second-degree murder in connection with the Oct. 11 hit-and-run death of single father Michael Moore, 31. "There is the potential to amend and add charges," Stephanie Macumber, deputy district attorney for Placer County said Wednesday. "We don't have all the reports yet, but there could be additional victims." Popov, who has two prior DUI convictions, had a blood-alcohol level of .23, nearly three times the .08 legal limit at the time of the crash, officials said. According to Kelly Baraga of the California Highway Patrol, Popov was driving a Chevrolet Silverado eastbound on the freeway just before 5 p.m. Oct. 11 when he made a U-turn near the Rocklin Road exit. The truck then proceeded westbound against traffic at a high rate of speed, forcing numerous cars to swerve out of the way, investigators said. Popov's truck hit a 1997 Toyota Corolla driven by Moore, Baraga said. It is believed Moore was killed on impact. Moore was on his way to Penryn Oaks Preschool in Loomis to pick up his 9-year-old daughter and 10-year-old son. He never made it. Popov is scheduled to return to court at 8:30 a.m. Nov. 29 in Dept. 9 for an early status conference. His preliminary hearing is expected to begin Jan. 10, 2006. If convicted on the second-degree murder charge, Popov could face 15 years to life in prison.
- Penne Usher