Driver who fled California DUI checkpoint in dies in crash, police say

A 36-year-old Hemet resident who fled from a Riverside County Sheriff’s Department DUI checkpoint in San Jacinto on Friday, June 21, died shortly afterward when he crashed, the Sheriff’s Department said.

The collision happened around 10:11 p.m. at the intersection of San Jacinto and Esplanade avenues. Deputies found two vehicles, one of which was overturned, with one occupant each. Cal Fire/Riverside County firefighters cut them out of the vehicles.

Both suffered serious injuries. Antonio Cervantes died at Riverside University Health System Medical Center at 11:43 p.m., the Coroner’s Office said. The other driver was expected to survive.

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Cervantes had tried to escape the checkpoint where drivers were being screened for intoxication on San Jacinto Avenue north of Midway Street about a half-mile away, Sgt. Wenndy Brito-Gonzalez, a sheriff’s spokeswoman, said Sunday.

“Deputies were not attempting to pull the vehicle over at the time of the crash,” Brito-Gonzalez added. “By the time deputies set out to look for the vehicle, they encountered a collision and discovered it involved the vehicle that had taken off from the checkpoint.”

The cause of the collision was under investigation.

The Sheriff’s Department asks anyone with information on the collision to call Deputy Post at 951-654-2702.

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