UPDATE: Unlicensed JV driver arrested after Oct. DUI crash that killed four

UPDATED: Tuesday, Nov. 13, 1 p.m.

See original story and photos below.

JURUPA VALLEY — Authorities last night announced the arrest of a Jurupa Valley man they allege was intoxicated when he lost control of his vehicle and slammed head-on into another car, killing all four occupants.

The deadly wreck, which happened late Tuesday night, Oct. 23. at the intersection of Van Buren Blvd. and 56th St., caused a chain reaction crash that involved four vehicles and forced the eight-hour closure of Van Buren Blvd.


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The alleged suspect, later identified as George Ponce, 30, has been hospitalized since last month’s deadly collision and was arrested immediately upon his release from Riverside Community Hospital on Friday, Nov. 9, Riverside Sheriff’s Sgt. Brian Gutierrez said after Ponce’s arrest.

After his arrest, deputies transported Ponce to Robert Presley Detention Center in Riverside where he was booked on suspicion of four counts of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, driving without a license, and other charges.

A jail records search indicated Ponce remains in custody on $300,000 bail and is scheduled to be arraigned at Riverside’s Hall of Justice, Nov. 15.

Ponce’s victims were later identified as Nicholas Cahill, 20, Daniel Smith, 20, Marco Aguila, 23, and Clinton Jellsey, 25. All four men were from Riverside.

George Ponce has been arrested and charged with four counts of gross vehicular manslaughter after an Oct. 23 crash killed four Riverside men. RSO booking photo


UPDATED: Thursday, Oct. 25, 10 a.m., Four victims ID’d after 4-vehicle, DUI-related JV crash

See original story below.

JURUPA VALLEY — Officials have released more information about a fatal, four-vehicle, DUI-related crash that stole the lives of four Riverside residents. The deadly wreck happened late Tuesday night, Oct. 23. at the intersection of Van Buren Blvd. and 56th St.

Officials have also released the names of the victims who were killed when the alleged drunk driver lost control of his vehicle and plowed head-on into the car the victims were in. Two other vehicles were also involved in the fatal crash.


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Riverside County Sheriff-Coroner officials identified the four victims as Nicholas Cahill, 20, Daniel Smith, 20, Marco Aguila, 23, and Clinton Jellsey, 25. All four victims were from Riverside.

Fire and rescue personnel work at the scene of Tuesday evening’s deadly crash that killed four Riverside men. InlandNews photo

Officials have not yet released the name of the alleged drunk driver who was critically injured in the crash and remains hospitalized.

During their investigation, deputies assigned to Jurupa Valley PD’s Traffic Reconstruction Team determined the alleged suspect, who remains unidentified at this time, was traveling northbound on Van Buren Blvd. and attempted to make a westbound turn onto 56th St.

“The driver failed to negotiate the turn and traveled into southbound lanes of Van Buren Boulevard and collided with the vehicle occupied by (the four deceased victims),” Riverside Sheriff’s Sgt. Gutierrez later explained in a written press release.

“All four victims succumbed to their injuries and were pronounced deceased by emergency medical personnel on scene,” said Gutierrez.

Two additional vehicles traveling southbound on Van Buren Blvd. attempted to avoid the collision but were unable to and both sustained minor damage. Neither of those drivers were seriously injured.

The man who caused the collision sustained serious, non-life-threatening injuries, according to Gutierrez, and he was transported to a local hospital where he was admitted and remains in critical condition.

Although their investigation is ongoing, officials have already determined that alcohol intoxication appeared to be a contributing factor in the deadly wreck.

Anyone with information regarding this collision is encouraged to call Deputy Ditfurth at the Jurupa Valley Station at (951) 955-2600. Anyone wishing to report criminal activity who want to remain anonymous can also call crime stoppers at 800-78-CRIME (800-782-7463) or 800-47-DRUGS (800-473-7847). You can also leave anonymous information at www.riversidesheriff.org/tipline or www.wetip.com or by using the Sheriff’s CrimeTips online form.

This is a developing story that will be updated as new information is available.


ORIGINAL STORY: Four killed, one critical, after JV multi-vehicle crash

JURUPA VALLEY — Four people were killed and a fifth victim is in critical condition after a multi-vehicle collision in Jurupa Valley late last night, Tuesday, Oct. 23. The deadly crash that involved four vehicles according to Riverside Sheriff’s Department happened on Van Buren Blvd. at 56th St.


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Riverside Sheriff’s Department, Cal Fire/Riverside County Fire, and other emergency personnel were dispatched to the crash just before 11:50 p.m., after receiving reports of the collision.

When officials arrived they found several wrecked vehicles with vehicle parts and debris spread across a section of Van Buren Blvd. near 56th St.

Officials determined four of the victims had already succumbed to their injuries and all four were pronounced deceased at the scene.

The one surviving victim from the crash was later rushed to an area hospital in critical condition. Their condition is unknown at this time.

Officials have not released the names of any of the victims killed in the crash, pending further investigation, identification, and notification of the victim’s families.

In a Tweet from the Sheriff’s Media Information Bureau, officials said the victims’ names would be released by the coroner’s office at a later time.

Based on the circumstances, Jurupa Valley PD’s Traffic Reconstruction Team responded to the scene and assumed the investigation.

While deputies investigated the cause of the fatal collision they called for the temporary closure of Van Buren Blvd. in both directions, from Jurupa Rd. to Limonite Ave. The roadway remained closed until shortly after 8 a.m. the next morning.

Officials are still working to determine if alcohol or drug intoxication were contributing factors in the deadly crash and their investigation is ongoing.

This is a developing story that will be updated as new information is available.

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Contact the writer: trevor.rcns@gmail.com


Trevor Montgomery, 47, recently moved to the Intermountain area of Shasta County from Riverside County and runs Riverside County News Source and Shasta County News Source. Additionally, he writes for several other news organizations; including Riverside County based newspapers, Valley News, The Valley Chronicle, and Anza Valley Outlook; as well as Bonsall/Fallbrook Village News in San Diego County and Mountain Echo in Shasta County.

Trevor spent 10 years in the U.S. Army as an Orthopedic Specialist before joining the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department in 1998. He was medically retired after losing his leg, breaking his back, and suffering both spinal cord and brain injuries in an off-duty accident. (Click here to see segment of Discovery Channel documentary of Trevor’s accident.)

During his time with the sheriff’s department, Trevor worked at several different stations; including Robert Presley Detention Center, Southwest Station in Temecula, Hemet/Valle Vista Station, Ben Clark Public Safety Training Center, and Lake Elsinore Station; along with other locations.

Trevor’s assignments included Corrections, Patrol, DUI Enforcement, Boat and Personal Water-Craft based Lake Patrol, Off-Road Vehicle Enforcement, Problem Oriented Policing Team, and Personnel/Background Investigations. He finished his career while working as a Sex Crimes and Child Abuse Investigator and was a court-designated expert in child abuse and child sex-related crimes.

Trevor has been married for more than 28 years and was a foster parent to more than 60 children over 13 years. He is now an adoptive parent and his “fluid family” includes 13 children and 14 – but soon to be 16 – grandchildren.


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