UPDATED: DUI, speed blamed in fatal crash after Jeep rolls 100 ft down embankment
TEMECULA — Officials say driving under the influence and unsafe speed led to a deadly crash after a vehicle overturned and rolled 100 feet down an embankment before smashing into a tree, Sunday morning, Jan. 28. The fatal, single-vehicle rollover happened on Camino Estribo, between Via Gorrion and Camino Porto, in an unincorporated area west of Temecula.
After an investigation, officials arrested Justyn Roland Cabunoc, 23, of Murrieta, CHP Officer Mike Lassig explained after the accident and arrest. He was booked at the Cois Byrd Detention Center in Murrieta on suspicion of DUI/gross vehicular manslaughter, felony DUI resulting in great bodily injury and DUI over .08%.
He was released from custody within hours of his arrest after posting $75,000 and is scheduled to be arraigned at Southwest Justice Center in Murrieta, Mar. 27.
SEE ORIGINAL: One dead after vehicle plunges 100 feet down embankment
California Highway Patrol, Cal Fire/Riverside County Fire and other emergency first responders were dispatched to the scene of the wreck shortly before 7 a.m., after the driver – later identified as Cabunoc – managed to climb back up the embankment and flag down a passing vehicle.
Eleven firefighters from two engine companies and one truck company responded to the scene of the accident, Cal Fire/Riverside County Fire spokesperson Jody Hagemann explained after the deadly crash.
When they arrived officials found Cabunoc, who directed them to his wrecked and overturned Jeep, about 100 feet down a dirt embankment. Rescuers hiked down to the upside down vehicle vehicle, at which time they determined the passenger, a 26-year-old, Quartz Hill resident, was critically injured after sustaining blunt force trauma to his head.
According to a CHP report, although both occupants were wearing seat belts at the time of the crash, the victim succumbed to his injuries and officials pronounced him deceased at the scene. Officials have not released the victim’s name, pending notification of his family.
Unlike his passenger, Cabunoc sustained only minor injuries and after he was evaluated at the scene he did not require further medical treatment. Although he was not injured, while CHP officers were investigating the cause of the deadly wreck they determined he was under the influence of alcohol and later arrested him.
During their investigation CHP determined that just before the accident, Cabunoc had been traveling westbound on Camino Estribo at an unsafe speed, according to Lassig. Because of his excessive speed, as Cabunec entered into a left hand curve in the roadway he lost control, veered to the left and then drove off the southern edge of the road.
After Cabunoc’s Jeep left the roadway it overturned – rolling down a dirt ravine – where it struck the tree and came to rest on its roof.
Coroner’s officials were summoned to the scene and assisted with CHP’s investigation, which is active and ongoing.
Anyone with information about this investigation or who witnessed the crash is encouraged to contact Officer Harris at CHP’s Temecula Area Station at (951) 506-2000.
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Trevor Montgomery, who recently moved from Riverside County to Shasta County, runs Riverside County News Source and Shasta County News Source. Additionally, he writes for Riverside County based newspapers Valley News, The Valley Chronicle and Anza Valley Outlook as well as Bonsall/Fallbrook Village News in San Diego 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.
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 27 years and was a foster parent to more than 60 children over 13 years. He is now an adoptive parent and has 13 children and 14 grandchildren.