A Temecula teen who allegedly fled a crash scene only to cause a second smash-up may have been under the influence of alcohol,
police are reporting.
Angel Lopez, 19, is accused of plowing a 1998 Dodge truck into another vehicle Sunday at Rancho California Road and Meadows Parkway. He fled the scene only to crash into a 1998 Ford Contour at Rancho California and Margarita roads, according to a report from Sgt. John Magnan of the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department.
When officers from the Temecula Police Department arrived on scene of the second crash that was reported just before 7 p.m., “they found a 1998 Dodge truck and a 1998 Ford Contour resting on their wheels in the eastbound lanes of Rancho California Road. The male driver of the Ford sustained major injuries and was transported to a local hospital,” Magnan reported.
During the crash investigation, officers from the Temecula Police Department determined that Lopez had been driving westbound on Rancho California and entered the Margarita intersection against a red light and struck the Ford, Magnan reported.
Through investigation, officers allege Lopez was also involved in the Rancho California Road/Meadows Parkway crash and he is accused of trying to flee that scene when he crashed at Margarita Road. Magnan also reported that alcohol use by Lopez contributed to the cause of the crashes.
The extent of injuries at the Meadows Parkway crash were not provided by Magnan.
Following the second crash, Lopez was transported to a local hospital, although the sergeant did not provide details on the extent of his injuries. However, jail records show Lopez has been transported from Inland Valley Medical Center to Southwest Detention Center where he is being held on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol while causing a traffic collision with major injuries, and driving under the influence of alcohol while causing a hit-and-run traffic collision.
According to a Cal Fire/Riverside County Fire Department report, 20 firefighters arrived at the Margarita Road crash where they had to cut through wreckage to extricate the injured. According to the Cal Fire report, a total of three people were sent to the hospital: two with serious injuries, one with moderate injuries. It is not clear which vehicle the third person was traveling in.
Roads were closed for more than five hours while members of the Temecula Police Department’s Traffic Collision Reconstruction Team conducted their investigation, Magnan reported. --Toni McAllister