Man Suspected Of Killing Four In Drunk Driving Crash Jailed

Man Suspected Of Killing Four In Drunk Driving Crash Jailed

News Staff

Felony charges are expected to be filed this week against a man suspected of killing four people in an alcohol-fueled wreck at a Jurupa Valley intersection.

George Ponce, 30, was booked into the Robert Presley Detention Center in Riverside on Friday on suspicion of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and driving without a license. Ponce had been at Riverside Community Hospital over two weeks, recovering from moderate injuries suffered in the Oct. 23 crash.

He was cleared for booking by doctors last week, Riverside County Sheriff’s Sgt. Brian Gutierrez said.

Ponce is being held in lieu of $300,000 bail.

District Attorney’s Office spokesman John Hall told City News Service that sheriff’s investigators had not yet submitted a request for charges, but they have until Thursday to do so.

Ponce allegedly killed 23-year-old Marco Aguilar, 20-year-old Nicholas Cahill, 25-year-old Jellsey Clinton and 20-year-old Daniel Smith — all of Riverside — on the night of Oct. 23.

According to Gutierrez, the collision happened about 11:45 p.m. at 56th Street and Van Buren Boulevard.

The sergeant alleged that Ponce was at the wheel of a pickup going north on Van Buren when he tried to make a sharp turn to head west on 56th and lost control.

“The driver failed to negotiate the turn and traveled into southbound lanes on Van Buren … (where he) collided with the vehicle occupied by the four individuals,” Gutierrez said.

The speed at which the suspect was traveling remains under investigation.

Two other motorists going south on Van Buren were hit by debris from the crash as it happened, but they managed to avoid impact, according to Gutierrez.

He said paramedics reached the location within a few minutes and pronounced all of the victims in the impacted car dead at the scene.

Ponce was in his vehicle when deputies arrived and taken into custody without a struggle.