Jury selection is expected to get underway Tuesday for the trial of a convicted felon accused of driving drunk and causing a collision that killed two people near Desert Center.
Austin Bly Ellington, 21, of Anza is charged with two counts of DUI gross vehicular manslaughter and other felonies in connection with the June 29, 2018, crash on state Route 62, east of state Route 177.
Ellington, who was 18 at the time of the crash, remains out of custody on $220,000 bail while awaiting trial at the Larson Justice Center in Indio.
According to California Highway Patrol Officer Jackie Quintero, Ellington was eastbound on state Route 62 when his pickup truck drifted into the westbound lane and slammed head-on into another pickup truck driven by 57-year-old Banning resident David Brian Chance, who died at the scene.
Mariah Garcia, 20, of Anza, was riding in Ellington’s truck and also died at the scene, Quintero said.
Ellington and another of his passengers were airlifted to Desert Regional Medical Center in Palm Springs for treatment of what were described as major injuries. He was arrested on July 17, 2018, at the hospital, more than two weeks after the crash, according to county jail records.
In addition to the two DUI gross vehicular manslaughter charges, Ellington faces one count each of driving under the influence of alcohol causing bodily injury and driving with a blood-alcohol content exceeding the legal limit of .08% causing bodily injury, along with several sentence-enhancing allegations.
Ellington is additionally awaiting trial on a felony case from April 2018 that include allegations that he discharged a firearm in a negligent manner.
Court records indicate Ellington has prior felony convictions, although additional information was not available.
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