A man accused of driving under the influence of drugs and causing a multi-vehicle crash on Interstate 15 in Temecula, killing a woman and seriously injuring another motorist, was charged Thursday with second-degree murder and DUI.
Javier Caldera, 25 of Auburn, Washington, could face life in prison if convicted of the charges stemming from the death of Janet Genao, 44, of Murrieta, who died at the scene of the Tuesday collision on the southbound I-15, south of Rancho California Road, according to the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office.
Caldera was behind the wheel of a Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck that was traveling over 100 mph when it slammed into the back of Genao’s Nissan Altima at 7:28 a.m., causing a chain-reaction crash involving four other vehicles, said District Attorney’s Office spokesman John Hall.
The force of the impact also sent a Chevrolet S-10 pickup off the road and into the side of the Temecula City Hall parking structure just west of the freeway, mangling the pickup and rendering it nearly unrecognizable. The driver suffered serious injuries, according to California Highway Patrol Officer Mike Lassig.
Drivers of two of the other vehicles had minor injuries, and another driver was unhurt, he said. All of the injured parties were taken to Inland Valley Medical Center in Wildomar.
Caldera, who’s being held in lieu of $1 million bail at the Larry D. Smith Correctional Center in Banning, is slated to make his initial court appearance Thursday afternoon at the Southwest Justice Center in Murrieta.
Caldera has previous convictions in Washington state, including driving under the influence and felony attempt to elude, according to prosecutors.
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