A 19-year-old man who was already convicted of driving under the influence this year denies new charges he was drunk and high when he killed a 6-year-old in a wrong-way crash in Pomona this month, prosecutors said Tuesday.
Franky Antonio Provencio of Pomona could face life in prison for the death of 6-year-old Upland boy Julian George, who was riding in his father’s pickup truck when Provencio veered into the wrong lane of traffic and slammed into them head-on last Tuesday, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office said in a news release.
Provencio was driving a 2001 GMC Yukon north on White Avenue, near McKinley Avenue and the Pomona Fairplex, when he drifted into the southbound lanes around 4:25 p.m.
Julian — who wasn’t secured in a child safety seat as required by state law — died at the scene while his father, Peter George, was hospitalized in critical condition, officials said.
On Sunday, the George family learned Peter suffered a stroke in two parts of his brain and has pneumonia, according to a GoFundMe campaign. The pages states that the father had already undergone multiple surgeries, suffered several broken bones, had his jaw wired shut and wasn’t conscious or aware of his son’s death.
Authorities suspect Peter was also drunk during the crash, though they have not announced any charges filed against the father. Investigators previously said they hadn’t determined his blood alcohol content at the time of the crash but they were following up on the matter.
Provencio and a passenger in his SUV were also hurt and taken to hospitals for treatment.
The 19-year-old pleaded not guilty Monday to one count each of murder and driving under the influence of alcohol and a drug causing injury within 10 years of another DUI offense, the DA’s office said.
He’s also facing one misdemeanor count of methamphetamine possession, and prosecutors have filed special allegations of inflicting great bodily injury and having been previously convicted of driving under the influence of a drug in January.
Police had earlier said Provencio’s previous DUI conviction came in 2018.
Provencio could face up to 22 years to life in state prison if convicted as charged, officials said.
Prosecutors said the defendant was being held on $2.13 million bail, but inmate records show his bond was set at $2.63 million.
He’s scheduled to return to court June 5.