A 30-year-old Rialto resident is facing triple murder charges from a DUI collision that killed two UC Irvine graduates and a UCI student and left a fourth person seriously injured.
Jeremy Wayne Greenwood was slapped with three felony murder counts on Tuesday because after a 2012 DUI conviction in Los Angeles, he was warned a future DUI resulting in death could produce a murder charge, according to the Orange County District Attorney’s office (OCDA).
He allegedly ran a red light while driving his 2015 Infiniti Q50 about 85 mph through the Harvard and Michelson intersection around 3 a.m. on July 1, when he slammed into a 2014 Hyundai Elantra that had the green light, says Kim Mohr, the Irvine Police Department spokeswoman.
The Q50 rotated, traveled over the sidewalk on Harvard and came to rest next to a hedge, states to the OCDA, which adds the car caught fire. Witnesses called 911 and pulled Greenwood from his car to safety, Mohr says.
Those inside the Elantra were not so lucky. Kasean Herrera, the 23-year-old driver, and passenger Jeremy Shankling, 24, died at the scene. They were best friends and computer software engineers, according to the OCDA, which employed Shankling as an IT application developer.
Another passenger, 20-year-old London Thibodeaux, died at a hospital several days later from injuries the UCI student sustained in the crash, the OCDA says.
The third passenger, who was also a 20-year-old UCI student at the time, suffered a traumatic brain injury and at one point in her treatment had to be placed in a medically induced coma, say prosecutors, who add she went on to endure multiple organ surgeries.
The Irvine Police Department investigated for five months before arresting Greenwood at his home on Wednesday. The agency contends he was intoxicated at the time of the collision.
The OCDA charged Greenwood with three felony counts of murder DUI causing bodily injury, DUI with a blood alcohol content over .08 percent causing injury and a sentencing enhancement for great bodily injury. A conviction could send him to state prison for 51 years to life, prosecutors say.
He is scheduled to be arraigned today. He was being held in lieu of $2 million bail in the meantime. His defense will face a veteran homicide prosecutor in Senior Deputy District Attorney Whitney Bokosky.