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Ukiah teen who struck cyclists arraigned on 5 counts of assault

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A man who plowed his car through a line of bicyclists on a rural Ukiah Valley road Friday evening was arraigned Wednesday afternoon on five counts of assault with a deadly weapon — one for each victim — and one count of driving under the influence, causing great bodily injury, according to the Mendocino County District Attorney’s Office.

Gabriel Ray, 18, of Ukiah also has a pending charge of assault with a deadly weapon in connection with what is believed to be a gang-related knifing in December, said district attorney spokesman Mike Geniella.

Ray did not enter a plea to the new charges Wednesday, Geniella said. Ray’s next hearing is set for Monday, at which time his family is expected to decide whether to hire a private attorney or accept a court-appointed defender, Geniella said. Ray’s bail in the bicycle case was set at $300,000, he said.

Five people were injured, one critically, when they were struck, one after another, as they pedaled north on Old River Road, a popular cycling route that winds through rolling hills and vineyards between Hopland and Talmage, according to the CHP.

The most seriously injured, Laura Stern, 52, of Menlo Park, became stuck on the hood of the car, then fell off and was dragged after becoming trapped underneath the car, a 1996 Honda Accord, the CHP reported. Stern was airlifted to Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital. She was released to another facility Monday, hospital spokeswoman Katy Hillenmeyer said. Friends reported she is improving and in good spirits.

Another rider suffered multiple fractures, friends reported.

The group of avid cyclists included residents of San Mateo, Portola Valley, Los Altos and Sacramento, the CHP said . Stern and a companion were training for a long-distance bike race in France, according to friends.

You can reach Staff Writer Glenda Anderson at 462-6473 or glenda.anderson@pressdemocrat.com. On Twitter @MendoReporter.

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