On Monday, December 13, at approximately 2:20 a.m. the United States Border Patrol (U.S.B.P.) Murrieta station was operating a checkpoint on northbound Interstate 15 just north of Rainbow Valley Boulevard. A U.S.B.P. uniformed agent was standing in the middle of the No.2 and No. 3 lanes inside the checkpoint when he was struck by a 2013 Mini Cooper, driven by Jaime Alejandro Garcia of San Bernardino.
According to California Highway Patrol Investigating Officer Bethelotte, Garcia was traveling at approximately 60 mph while approaching the U.S.B.P. checkpoint.
“Garcia failed to reduce his speed and continued through the checkpoint striking the U.S.B.P. agent,” stated Bethelotte in a report submitted by CHP Officer Mike Lassig. “The U.S.B.P. agent was propelled up and over the vehicle where he landed on the Interstate 15 traffic lanes.”
Garcia continued to drive his vehicle northbound on Interstate 15 before U.S.B.P. agents caught up to him and conducted a traffic stop approximately one mile from the collision scene. Agents then detained Garcia and his passenger, Karen Devora, also of San Bernardino.
The California Highway Patrol (CHP) and Cal Fire responded to the collision scene. CHP officers observed Garcia’s vehicle had sustained major front-end damage as a result of this collision. CHP Officers then conducted a DUI evaluation on Garcia, where it was determined that he appeared to have been driving under the influence of alcohol. Garcia was placed under arrest for felony DUI and felony hit and run at 3:54 a.m. Devora was also placed under arrest for delaying and obstructing CHP officers at the scene.
The U.S.B.P. agent, who has not yet been identified, suffered major injuries, and was transported by AMR to Inland Valley Medical Center. Both Garcia and Devora were booked at the Cois M. Byrd Detention Facility in Murrieta at 9:30 a.m.
During the on-scene collision investigation, traffic was diverted through the northbound CHP Rainbow Inspection Facility. The northbound Interstate 15 traffic lanes were reopened at approximately 7 a.m. The CHP, Temecula Area is conducting the traffic collision investigation and arrest.