OC Man Re-Arrested In Deadly 91 Freeway Crash, Fire


The suspect drove westbound on the 91 freeway Monday near the I-15 interchange when he struck another vehicle, sparking a deadly car fire.

CORONA, CA — A 24-year-old motorist who allegedly caused a collision that triggered a deadly fire on the Riverside (91) Freeway in Corona because he was driving drunk was re-arrested Thursday after he was briefly released from custody.

Christopher Magallon of Santa Ana was booked back into the Robert Presley Jail in Riverside in the predawn hours Thursday on suspicion of DUI gross vehicular manslaughter, DUI causing great bodily injury and DUI resulting in property damage.

Magallon is being held on $75,000 bail.

He had originally been taken into custody Monday morning after the fatal crash, and California Highway Patrol investigators submitted a request to the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office for a criminal complaint against the suspect.

However, prosecutors returned the case to the CHP Wednesday based on unspecified evidentiary concerns, and Magallon’s speedy arraignment window guaranteed by state law came and went, leading to a “flash release” from custody. Before he could leave the downtown Riverside jail, however, he was re- arrested on the same allegations.

CHP investigators were preparing Thursday to resubmit their case to the D.A.’s office. The next arraignment window will close Monday.

According to the CHP, the suspect was at the wheel of a Lincoln Mark LT westbound on the 91 about 12:30 a.m. Monday, approaching the Interstate 15 interchange, when he “veered to the right and struck the left rear” of a Toyota 4Runner.

“After the impact, the Toyota overturned and caught fire, with the driver trapped inside,” Officer Javier Navarro said.

Corona Fire Department personnel reached the location within a few minutes and extinguished the fully engulfed SUV in the fast lane. The victim, a man whose identity has yet to be released by the coroner’s office, was pronounced dead at the scene. He was the sole occupant of the vehicle.

Magallon’s Lincoln was found broken down in the center divider. He was still in the pickup when CHP officers detained him.

Navarro alleged that evidence collected at the scene confirmed the suspect was drunk.

Background information on him was unavailable.

All westbound lanes were shut down until 5 a.m. Monday, when the closures were lifted.


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