Second-degree murder and other charges were filed Wednesday against an unlicensed driver accused of killing a 71-year-old woman and severely injuring a 68-year-old man in a drunken driving wreck in Corona.
Adrian Reyes Antonio, 41, of Fontana was arrested Saturday night following the crash on the eastbound Riverside (91) Freeway near Lincoln Avenue that killed Joan M. McKee of Huntington Beach.
Along with murder, Antonio is charged with driving under the influence resulting in great bodily injury, felony DUI and operating a motor vehicle without a license.
He’s being held without bail at the Byrd Detention Center in Murrieta and is slated to make his initial court appearance Thursday at the Riverside Hall of Justice.
According to the California Highway Patrol, the defendant was allegedly speeding eastbound on the 91 in the No. 2 lane in a Ford Windstar minivan when traffic ahead of him began to slow shortly before 6 p.m. Saturday.
Officer Juan Quintero alleged that Antonio did not brake and careened into the back of a Chrysler Voyager driven by James J. Poundstone of Huntington Beach. McKee was his front seat passenger.
Following the impact, the Chrysler spun into a Nissan Altima in an adjacent lane.
“Due to the severity of the collision, the driver and passenger of the Chrysler were ejected from their vehicle,” Quintero said.
After hitting Poundstone’s van, the Ford struck a GMC Terrain SUV and then a Kia Sorento, both in the fast lane, according to the CHP spokesman. He said the Kia was pushed into the back of a Honda Accord.
Corona Fire Department personnel pronounced McKee dead at the scene and transported Poundstone to a Riverside hospital with major injuries, Quintero said. The victim remains hospitalized in critical but stable condition.
The driver of the Kia suffered moderate injuries and was also hospitalized, according to Quintero.
The other parties escaped with minor or no injuries and did not require further medical treatment.
Quintero said officers evaluated Antonio, who was unhurt, at the scene and immediately determined he was allegedly intoxicated.
The eastbound 91 was partially shut down for over three hours because of the multi-vehicle wreck.
According to court records, Antonio has a prior misdemeanor conviction for DUI in another jurisdiction. 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.