TEMECULA, Calif. - A Tennessee man was behind bars today on suspicion of stealing a tractor-trailer involved a five-vehicle crash that seriously injured two people over the weekend.
Jerimiah Hartline, 19, was arrested later on the day of the crash, which was reported about 6:15 p.m. Saturday at Winchester Road and northbound Interstate 15, according to the California Highway Patrol.
According to the CHP, Hartline was driving in an "erratic manner" and merged into a Toyota Tacoma in the next lane. The Tacoma then ran into a Toyota 4Runner and a Mercedes-Benz and overturned.
The northbound big rig struck a Ford Taurus and a Honda Accord, rolled onto a side and skidded to a stop.
The Taurus struck the median and the Honda stopped on the right shoulder.
Witnesses said one of the big rig's two occupants got out of the truck and into a white van and left. Hartline was taken to a hospital to be checked out, then arrested when CHP officers learned the truck was reported stolen from the Rainbow Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Facility on I-15 shortly before the crash.
Two people in the Tacoma, Kyle Schlosser of San Jacinto and Sarah Small of Hemet, were the most seriously injured. They were taken to a hospital with serious injuries.
Hartline was booked at the Southwest Detention Center in Murrieta on suspicion of taking a vehile without the owner's consent and receiving stolen property. He was being held in lieu of $5,000 bail, according to jail records.