A suspected drunk driver accused of triggering a five-car Palm Desert crash that left one driver seriously injured, then fleeing the scene, pleaded not guilty Wednesday to felony counts of DUI causing injury and hit and run.
Jeremy Tellez, 37, of Palm Desert is accused in the 12:39 p.m. Friday crash at the intersection of Fred Waring Drive and Monterey Avenue.
Sheriff’s deputies say Tellez rear-ended a Toyota Yaris, forcing the Yaris into a Toyota Highlander. Tellez’s car then struck two other vehicles following the initial crash, according to sheriff’s Sgt. Jorge Ramirez.
The driver of the Yaris — identified as Peter H. in court documents — suffered major injuries, while Tellez suffered minor injuries, the sergeant said. The three other involved drivers were unscathed, Ramirez said, though three of the five vehicles sustained major damage.
While deputies were investigating the crash, Tellez fled on foot but later returned to the scene, according to Ramirez.
“It was determined Tellez showed signs of driving while impaired with alcohol and/or drugs,” Ramirez said.
Tellez was taken to Desert Regional Medical Center in Palm Springs, where he was arrested later that day.
Tellez remains held on $150,000 bail and is due back in court June 14 for a felony settlement conference.
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