A U.S. Border Patrol agent struck and severely injured by a suspected drunken driver at a federal checkpoint on Interstate 15 south of Temecula was in stable condition Wednesday, while the suspect was out of custody on bail.

The agent, whose name has not been released, remains at Inland Valley Medical Center in Wildomar, undergoing treatment for the injuries he suffered in the alleged hit-and-run Monday.

Supervisory Border Patrol Agent Pekae Michael told City News Service his condition remains stable, but she declined to disclose further details due to the agency’s privacy policy.

On Monday afternoon, the suspected DUI driver, 30-year-old Jaime Alejandro Garcia of San Bernardino, posted a $75,000 bond and was released from the Byrd Detention Center in Murrieta, where he had been booked hours earlier on suspicion of driving under the influence, hit-and-run resulting in great bodily injury and DUI resulting in injuries.

Garcia is tentatively due to make an appearance at the Southwest Justice Center on March 11, according to jail records.

No charges have yet been filed in the case, which is under review by the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office.

According to California Highway Patrol Officer Mike Lassig, about 2:20 a.m. Monday, Border Patrol agents from the USBP Murrieta station were operating the checkpoint on northbound I-15 at Rainbow Valley Boulevard, along the boundary separating Riverside and San Diego counties.

Lassig said the agent was standing within the checkpoint stop zone, in the middle of the No. 2 lane, when Garcia proceeded into the zone at 60 mph in his 2013 Mini Cooper, never slowing down.

The agent, positioned in the No. 2 lane, was hit and “propelled up and over the Mini Cooper (and) landed on I-15 traffic lanes,” Lassig said.

“(Garcia) continued to drive his vehicle northbound on I-15,” the CHP spokesman said. “USBP agents caught up to the vehicle and conducted a traffic stop approximately one mile from the collision scene.”

The suspect was taken into custody without incident and immediately determined by CHP officers to be under the influence, Lassig alleged. Garcia’s passenger, 28-year-old Karen Vianey Devora of San Bernardino, was arrested on suspicion of obstructing law enforcement officers and also booked into the Byrd Detention Center, where she posted a $5,000 bond and was released a short time later.

The injured Border Patrolman was taken to Inland Valley with major life-threatening injuries, Lassig said.

Northbound I-15 was shut down for almost five hours while an investigation was conducted, Lassig said.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.