Crash caused by wrong-way driver suspected of DUI


ANZA — The California Highway Patrol today said that a head-on crash on State Route 371 that severely injured three men was caused by an alleged drunk driver.

The crash happened about 2 p.m. Friday west of Homestead Road in an unincorporated county area west of Anza.

The CHP said Margarito Pacheco of Vista, 40, was at the wheel of a Chevy Astro van heading west on the highway when he pulled over to the right shoulder, made a U-turn and began heading in the wrong direction in the westbound lane.

That’s when Pacheco’s van collided head-on into a Toyota Tacoma pickup truck being driven by Top Metal Dragon, 42, and carrying passenger Hongsa Insixiengmay, 58, of Federal Way, according to the CHP.

All three suffered major injuries. Pacheco was extricated from his van by firefighters and airlifted, along with Insixiengmay, to Desert Regional Medical Center. Dragon was taken to Inland Valley Medical Center via ground ambulance.

All three were using seatbelts at the time of the crash, the CHP said.

Officer Mike Lassig said Pacheco was later arrested on suspicion of felony driving under the influence of alcohol.