The man accused of causing a triple fatal accident Sunday morning appeared in court Thursday with a translator. It was the reason the hearing had to be continued on Wednesday for Juan Pablo Gandara-Rodela.

Gandara-Rodela is charged with three counts of second-degree murder, two counts of aggravated battery and leaving the scene of an accident.

Five people were in the car that was hit. Jake Hallacy, Zach Taylor and Emily Phillips died in the accident. Two others were hurt and have since been released from the hospital.

Candara-Rodela is scheduled to be back in court for a preliminary hearing on August 14. His bond is set at $500,000.

The judge told Gandara-Rodela he could not have contact with any witnesses, including his wife who is on the list.

Memorials have been setup for the victims' families:

Jake Hallacy Memorial Fund

Zach Taylor Memorial Fund

Emily Phillips Memorial Fund


A man accused of running a red light, causing a deadly accident, made his first appearance in Sedgwick County District Court.

But Juan Pablo Gandara-Rodelo, 31, was not formally charged Wednesday because an interpretor was not available.

Police said Gandara-Rodelo had just left a bar early Sunday morning. He was speeding, ran a red light and hit a car with five people inside, according to police. They also say he never applied his brakes before the crash.

Zack Taylor and Jake Hallacy, of Valley Center, and Emily Phillips, 21, of McPherson, died in the crash. The 23-year-old driver of the Chevy, Samantha Gaylor, and a 19-year-old passenger were taken to the hospital but are expected to recover.

Police say Gandara-Rodelo fled the scene and was arrested at his home about an hour after the crash.

The Sedgwick County judge said Gandara-Rodelo will face three counts of first-degree murder, aggravated battery and fleeing the scene.