Janet Genao of Murrieta was killed Tuesday when, according to the California Highway Patrol (CHP), a the driver of a pickup truck moving fast in morning traffic on the 15 Freeway caused a six-vehicle, chain-reaction crash.
Among the vehicles in the fatal car crash was another pickup truck which was launched off the freeway where it crashed into the side of the Temecula City Hall parking building as pictured above.
The driver of the pickup that initiated the crash has been identified as Javier Caldera, 25, of Auburn, Washington. According to the CHP has been arrested . Caldera was not injured.
Caldera has been arrested on suspicion of murder, gross vehicular manslaughter, hit-and-run resulting in property damage, driving under the influence and driving with a suspended or revoked license. He was booked into the Southwest Detention center with a bail of $1 million, and is scheduled to appear in court on Thursday morning.
The wreckage debris closed the southbound lanes of the freeway at Rancho California Road, as well as the road’s on-ramp, for four hours after the 7:25 a.m. crash and caused major traffic jams throughout the area.
A dashcam video posted on YouTube shows Genao’s Nissan Altima being rear-ended by the speeding truck with an impact that looked like an explosion.
In the collisions that followed, a 2000 Chevrolet S-10 pickup truck flew off the freeway and struck the Temecula City Hall parking building. The driver, a 38-year-old man from Wildomar, was hospitalized with major injuries, the CHP said.
Two others, a 35-year-old man from Brandon, Mississippi driving a 2015 Chevrolet Tahoe and a 55-year-old man from Irvine in a 2017 Tesla Model S, both had minor injuries. A 50-year-old El Cajon man in a 2017 Toyota Camry escaped being hurt.
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