Christmas crash suspect pleads guilty to drunk driving

By Neal Putnam

John Charles Walters, 50, of Ramona, has pleaded guilty to drunk driving with injuries to four people who were hurt in a three-car collision on Christmas evening on state Route 67 at Dye Road.

Walters could face a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison, but a jail term with probation is a possibility. He could also be sentenced to time served. Sentencing is set for Sept. 7 before El Cajon Superior Court Judge Peter Deddeh. Walters remains in the downtown central jail on $175,000 bail.

His blood/alcohol level was .26, which is three times the legal limit, according to court records. The incident occurred at 11:05 p.m. and it was raining.

The four injured victims were Ian Fay, Emma Pineda, Rudy Evangelista and Eddie Evangelista. Pineda and Fay testified in the April 21 preliminary hearing when he was ordered to stand trial.

Walters was driving a 2002 Dodge 2500 truck and he is accused of rear-ending a Dodge Ram 3500 truck that was stopped for a red light at an intersection.

Fay, a Ramona resident, was driving the Dodge 3500 truck, and the force of that collision sent Fay’s car into a Honda Odyssey that was driven by Emma Pineda of Poway. Two passengers in Pineda’s car were injured.

The victims testified they suffered fractured vertebrae and loss of consciousness, and stitches were needed to close wounds at a hospital.

Walters was arrested Christmas night and posted $50,000 bond on Jan. 4.

A prosecutor won a bail increase to $175,000 on Jan. 24 and Walters was remanded to jail.

   
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