A convicted felon accused of slamming into a hatchback sedan at a Hemet intersection while drunk, killing two women and seriously injuring a third, was charged Wednesday with two counts of second-degree murder and other offenses.
Jesus Ernesto Rios, 33, of Downey was arrested immediately after the crash Saturday on Florida Avenue that fatally injured 21-year-old Dane Adkins-Radford and Emily Hale, both 21 and of Hemet. Their friend, Alyssa Salas of Hemet, suffered life-threatening injuries.
Along with the murder counts, Rios is charged with felony driving under the influence and a sentence-enhancing great bodily injury allegation.
He’s being held in lieu of $1 million bail at the Byrd Detention Center in Murrieta and is slated to make his initial court appearance Thursday at the Banning Justice Center.
According to Hemet police Sgt. Dan Reinbolt, about 4 a.m. Saturday, the victims were stopped on eastbound Florida at Kirby Street in a Honda Fit, waiting for a red light signal to change.
“Rios was driving eastbound on Florida, approaching Kirby … and continued without braking, rear-ending the Honda,” Reinbolt said. “Rios allegedly attempted to flee the scene on foot, but a witness prevented his escape.”
Hemet Fire Department paramedics arrived within a few minutes and discovered Adkins-Radford dead, with Hale clinging to life and Salas suffering from major injuries.
Salas and Hale were taken to Riverside University Medical Center in Moreno Valley, where Hale died less than an hour later, authorities said. Salas is expected to survive.
Reinbolt alleged that patrol officers quickly determined that the defendant, who was not hurt, was inebriated and took him into custody. He had been driving a BMW sports car at the time of the incident, according to police.
According to court records, Rios has prior convictions for felony vandalism, brandishing a deadly weapon and driving under the influence.
Under California law, a convicted DUI offender who is aware of the risks of drinking and driving and then causes someone’s death because of it can be charged with murder.
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