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Driver faces murder charge for alleged DUI crash that killed his mother

Deadly wreck and semi truck on fire

COACHELLA, Calif. - The Arizona man who was arrested last Friday morning on suspicion of DUI following a crash on Interstate 10 in Coachella, which ended up killing his 73-year-old mother, is facing charges of murder and gross vehicular manslaughter. 

Thongginh Khemphomma, 51, from Laveen, Arizona, pleaded not guilty Tuesday afternoon and remains in custody at the Riverside County jail in Indio in lieu of $1M bail pending a June 2 felony settlement conference.

Khmphomma was behind the wheel of a 2005 Nissan Sentra that overturned about 7:20 a.m. on westbound I-10, east of Dillon Road, said California Highway Patrol Officer Mike Radford. The crash happened the morning of May, 19 and Khemphomma has been in custody since. 

Authorities identified his mother as Sim Khemphomma of Mountain Lake, Minnesota. 

In addition to murder and vehicular manslaughter, the defendant faces two felony counts of DUI causing injury, a misdemeanor count of driving without a license and sentence-enhancing allegations of causing great bodily injury.

After being treated at Desert Regional Medical Center for moderate injuries, Khemphomma was booked into the Riverside County jail in Indio, with bail set at $1 million. 


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