crash - Photo courtesy of Clark Van Der Beken on Unsplash

At the request of his attorney, arraignment was postponed Friday for a 22-year-old probationer accused of driving drunk and causing a head-on wreck in Winchester that killed a woman and seriously injured a man.

Willie Eddie Salazar of Wildomar was at the wheel of a Honda Civic that allegedly slammed into a Chevrolet Malibu on Domenigoni Parkway, just east of Patterson Avenue, on the night of April 29.

Sahtarria Anderson, 32, of Menifee was fatally injured, and her friend, identified only as a 31-year-old Hemet man, suffered major injuries and is still recovering.

Salazar is charged with second-degree murder, felony driving under the influence, DUI resulting in great bodily injury and driving on a revoked license stemming from a prior DUI conviction.

The defendant was slated to be arraigned before Riverside County Superior Court Judge Mark Singerton, but his public defender requested a two-week delay to further confer with him, without objection from the prosecution. Singerton rescheduled the hearing to June 3 at the Banning Justice Center.

Salazar is being held on $1 million bail at the Robert Presley Jail in Riverside.

According to California Highway Patrol Officer Jason Montez, the defendant was driving his Honda the wrong way, going westbound in the eastbound lanes on Domenigoni, when he approached the Malibu, driven by Anderson’s friend, with her in the right front passenger seat.

“The Honda and Chevrolet were involved in a head-on crash,” Montez said.

It wasn’t clear how fast each vehicle was traveling.

County fire crews reached the location minutes later and treated the defendant and two victims, all of whom were taken to Inland Valley Medical Center in Wildomar.

Anderson succumbed to her injuries at about 1:30 a.m. on April 30, according to the Riverside County coroner’s office.

Salazar was hospitalized for more than a week before being transferred to the Riverside jail.

Court records show he pleaded guilty in February to misdemeanor DUI, receiving a one-month jail sentence and a 36-month term of probation, with a requirement that he attend classes on the dangers of drinking and driving.

It was unclear whether he enrolled in the program. Regardless, under California law, if a DUI offender admits or is convicted of driving while intoxicated, he or she can be charged with murder for causing a death directly tied to a subsequent DUI collision.

Records additionally indicate that Salazar has a misdemeanor conviction for domestic violence.

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