Police believe that drug use or alcohol consumption and reckless driving were the causes of a deadly motor vehicle accident in Perris on the night of July 20, 2020. An 8-year-old girl and a 75-year-old woman lost their lives in the crash. An unidentified man was taken into custody at the scene on suspicion of driving under the influence, according to the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department. Initial reports do not indicate what may have led deputies to believe that he was intoxicated.

The details of the accident

The accident took place at the intersection of Ramona Expressway and Perris Boulevard at approximately 10 p.m. According to an RCSO report, the driver of a Mercedes-Benz sedan ignored or failed to see a red light and then struck a Dodge SUV that had been proceeding westbound on Ramona Expressway. The SUV then struck a Honda sedan that had been waiting to make a turn.

The two victims were both traveling in the SUV. They suffered catastrophic injuries and were pronounced dead at the scene by emergency workers. The woman behind the wheel of the SUV and another child who was traveling in the SUV escaped the crash without significant injury. The man was taken into custody, and the occupants of the Honda suffered minor injuries and were transported by ambulance to a nearby hospital.

Felony drunk driving charges in California

Impaired drivers in California who cause accidents that kill or seriously injure other road users can be charged with felony DUI. However, in order to pursue felony drunk driving charges in such situations, prosecutors must establish that the defendant was driving recklessly or committed a motor vehicle violation before crashing. This is why experienced criminal defense attorneys may study accident reports with particular care in these cases. When attorneys do not find convincing evidence of recklessness or a violation of some sort, they may argue that a misdemeanor DUI charge would be more appropriate.