INDIO, Calif. - A man already facing DUI charges stemming from a Desert Hot Springs crash that killed one of his passengers and injured several others was charged in an amended complaint with gross vehicular manslaughter.
Brandon Byars, 23, of Palm Desert, was initially charged with DUI causing injury, with sentence-enhancing allegations of causing great bodily injury to the victims, including two children, a 13-year-old girl, and 9-year- old boy.
Jesus Moreno, 22, of Desert Hot Springs, died at Desert Regional Medical Center in Palm Springs five days after the Sept. 28 crash.
Moreno was a passenger in Byars' minivan, which slammed into another car at 8:20 p.m. at the intersection of Ironwood and La Mesa drives.
A woman in Byars' vehicle was also hospitalized with moderate injuries, according to Sgt. Corinn Lindsey. A man and his three children in the other vehicle suffered minor injuries and were checked out at a hospital before being released, Lindsey said.
Byars was taken into custody at the crash scene. He's being held in lieu of $500,000 bail and will return to court Nov. 21 for a felony settlement conference.