Driver arrested for deadly Palm Springs crash

21-year-old Jonathan Eduardo Garcia-Avila taken into custody September 3

PALM SPRINGS, Calif. - The driver involved in a crash that claimed two young lives in Palm Springs over the weekend has been arrested for vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, according to a release from the Palm Springs Police Department.

Jonathan Eduardo Garcia-Avila, a 21 year old from Cathedral City, was arrested Wednesday as he was still at a hospital for injuries he received in the crash.

He crashed a 2005 Cadillac CTS into a light pole around 3:12 a.m. on Sunday, August 31. The crash happened on north Gene Autry Trail and Tachevah Drive.

Officers said he was traveling at a high rate of speed at the time of the collision. The Cadillac split in two, leaving the front end of the car yards away from the back end, which was crunched around a light pole on the northwest side of Tachevah.

Garcia-Avila and one other passenger were injured in the crash, but 21-year-old Osvaldo Ramirez, of Cathedral City, and 18-year-old Tierra Reagins, of Palm Springs, were both killed.

Garcia-Avila has been charged with two counts of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, and one count of driving under the influence causing injury, according to the Palm Springs Police Department.

He was transferred from the hospital and is now  in the custody of the Riverside County Sheriff's Department. There was no booking photo immediately available.

Garcia-Avila is expected to be arraigned Friday, September 5.

News Channel 3 and CBS Local 2 will follow the case closely and bring you updates as they're available.

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