A Southern California driver was left with a sky-high insurance bill after he claimed a Yucaipa man crashed into his vehicle intentionally.
“He knows what he’s doing and he knows how to not be at fault for them,” said Jeremy Perales, a victim who said he was struck by the suspect, Christopher Phelps, 40.
Christopher, along with his wife, Kimberly, 40, were arrested on Wednesday and accused of intentionally causing car crashes that were posted on a YouTube channel.
The couple is accused of causing collisions in an attempt to collect fraudulent insurance payouts, according to the California Department of Insurance.
A YouTube channel under the name “BLU3 GHO57″ allegedly housed around 162 videos of “vehicle collisions, attempted or near collisions, road rage incidents, and other content involving the couple,” officials said.
It was in April 2022 when Perales said his insurance premium shot up after an accident involving Christopher.
A rear dashcam video of the crash was posted on Christopher’s Facebook page where Phelps claimed Perales was actually the one who set him up.
“To think, to be able to do this to a person and set them up for an accident?” Phelps says in the video.
Perales refutes that claim, saying Christopher’s actions appeared intentional and he was well aware of his actions at the time.
“Then he slowly braked and came to a dead stop while I was still driving, so I had to go left over the double yellow,” recalled Perales. “I stopped and then he hit me.”
Perales said unfortunately, his insurance deemed the crash 90 percent his fault because he had crossed into the opposite lane.
According to an investigation by the California Department of Insurance, Phelps and his wife have been involved in at least 23 collisions that were posted on their YouTube channel with at least 17 of them linked to insurance claims filed by Christopher. The videos have since been removed.
In several incidents, the couple’s child was also present in the vehicle, according to arrest documents.
“Allegedly there was a child involved, their child involved in the car, as well as I’m sure there were victims with children,” said Jacquelyn Rodriguez with the San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office. She said the first incident dates back to July 2020.
Christopher faces several felony charges including assault with a deadly weapon, insurance fraud and child endangerment. Kimberly faces charges of felony child endangerment and insurance fraud. The couple has pleaded not guilty.
Christopher is being held on $500,000 bail and Kimberly’s bail was reduced to $170,000. A court hearing for the couple is scheduled for March 28.
Any additional victims or witnesses are asked to contact Detective Matthew Carter at 909-919-2215 or email email@example.com.