A preliminary hearing has been scheduled for early 2019 for a former airman charged with driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs and killing a Lompoc couple in a collision more than two years ago.

The case involving Shaquille Lindsey, 25, went before Lompoc Superior Court Judge Raimundo Montes de Oca on Tuesday for a brief hearing.

Lindsey has been charged with two felony counts of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, and one felony count of driving under the combined influence of alcohol and drugs causing injury.

He also faces criminal enhancements for causing great bodily injury, according to the court complaint.

The allegations stem from an Aug. 28, 2016, head-on collision that killed Ruben Betancourt, 51, and Bertha Betancourt, 58, on Santa Lucia Canyon Road. Their son, Juan Betancourt, was also in the vehicle and was injured in the crash.

Lindsey, a former airman who had returned to the Central Coast to celebrate his birthday after being discharged from the Air Force for marijuana use, is accused of speeding and crossing over the double yellow lines when his rental car slammed into the Betancourts’ vehicle on a Sunday afternoon, according to court documents.

Charges first filed in federal court were dismissed due to jurisdictional issues, setting the stage for the criminal complaint filed in Santa Barbara County Superior Court in August.

Lindsey has pleaded not guilty to the charges. 

The judge had previously granted Lindsey, who lives in Georgia, permission to miss Tuesday’s court appearance. 

The preliminary hearing, to decide if enough evidence exists for Lindsey to stand trial on the charges, is planned for 10 a.m. Jan. 11 in a Lompoc courtroom. 

Noozhawk North County editor Janene Scully can be reached at jscully@noozhawk.com. Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.