A driver in a suspected DUI crash in Temecula that killed a woman this week was charged with second-degree murder Thursday, according to the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office.
Javier Caldera, 25, was speeding along the southbound 15 Freeway in a 2011 Chevrolet Silverado when he collided into the back of a Nissan Altima being driven by Janet Genao Tuesday morning, according to authorities. The crash occurred about 7:19 a.m.
Genao, a 44-year-old Murrieta resident, was pronounced dead at the scene.
Caldera, a Washington state resident who has prior convictions there for DUI and felony attempting to elude, is also facing a count of driving under the influence of a drug with sentencing enhancements of causing great bodily injury, according to prosecutors.
He faces up to life in prison if convicted.
Witnesses said Caldera was driving at speeds exceeding 100 miles per hour when he crashed into the Altima in the southbound lanes of the 15 between Rancho California Road and Temecula Parkway, according to prosecutors.
The moment his truck struck the victim’s car can be seen in dashcam video posted to Youtube, showing debris flying all over the freeway upon impact. The video shows the car’s roof and trunk ripped off and the back seats smashed in.
The collision triggered a chain-reaction crash involving multiple other vehicles, including a Chevrolet S-10 pickup truck that careened of the freeway and hit the wall of a parking garage at Temecula City Hall, prosecutors said.
The driver of the S-10, 38-year-old Mike Rivera-Aguilar, suffered major injuries and was taken to a hospital, according to California Highway Patrol.
Three other drivers involved in the pileup were wounded, authorities said. Caldera was not injured.
He is scheduled to be arraigned at the Southwest Justice Center in Murrieta about 1:30 p.m. on Thursday.
Inmate records show he is being held on $1 million bail at the Larry D. Smith Correction Facility in Banning.