Felony DUI crash with injuries

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A crash that injured two people resulted in a felony arrest for suspicion of driving under the influence.

At 11:10 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 24, Rajiv Panchal, 41, of Idyllwild, was driving his 2013 black Ford Taurus northbound on Highway 243, 200 feet south of Jameson Drive, when, in a left-hand curve, he allowed his vehicle to drift to the right causing it to collide with a number of trees.

With Panchal was passenger Kyle Olsen, 29, of Utah. Both were injured in the crash and required transportation by American Medical Response to Desert Regional Medical Center in Palm Springs. Panchal was subsequently arrested and booked for suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol. Because the crash caused injury to his passenger, Panchal was booked on a felony charge and incarcerated in Larry B. Smith Correctional Facility in Banning. He posted $50,000 bail the next day and was released. The case has been referred to the Riverside County district attorney for evaluation and possible prosecution.

At 7:20 p.m. Friday, Aug. 25, Sarah Barker, 33, of Idyllwild, was driving her white 2000 Buick LaSabre westbound on Highway 74 at mile marker 50.5 near Cranston Station when she lost control of the vehicle, causing it to go 20 feet over the south embankment in a roll over. Barker was transported by AMR to Hemet Valley Medical Center with abrasions and complaint of pain.

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