Drunk Driver Going Wrong Way On I-24 Injures 6 People

Bonilla, 25, Of East Ridge Did Not Have Driver's License

Saturday, July 23, 2011

A driver going the wrong way on Interstate 24 early Saturday morning hit two vehicles, sending six people to local hospitals.

Police said he was drunk and driving without a license.

Facing numerous charges is Jesus Morales Bonilla, 25, of 4634 Carr Terrace, East Ridge.

He is charged with four counts of vehicular assault, DUI, violating the Implied Consent law, six counts of reckless endangerment, leaving the scene of an accident with injury or death and driving without a license.

At approximately 3:46 a.m., East Ridge Police and Fire/Rescue responded to I-24 near the S. Seminole overpass in reference to a motor vehicle crash. A black Dodge Ram driven by an Hispanic male was traveling the wrong way on eastbound I-24 hitting a Pontiac Torrent head on.

A Hyundai following the Pontiac was unable to avoid the crash and was also involved.

An East Ridge Police officer traveling eastbound observed the crash and stopped to render aid. The officer observed the Hispanic male attempting to leave the scene. The officer was able to apprehend the suspect as other officers were arriving on the scene.

East Ridge Fire/Rescue personnel working for more than an hour had to use the Jaws-of-Life to extricate at least one victim from the Pontiac.

Due to the extreme heat conditions one firefighter was treated for possible heat exhaustion.

Those transported to area hospitals included four adults and two children.

Lifeguard EMS, Memorial EMS, and Angel EMS transported victims to Erlanger Hospital, Children’s Hospital, and Parkridge East Hospital.

The two vehicles involved in the crash were family members traveling together from Kentucky to Florida.

East Ridge Police traffic investigators initially were unable to identify the Hispanic man who caused the crash because he provided two different identifications with different names on each one.

Bonilla is scheduled to appear in East Ridge Municipal Court on Tuesday at 5 p.m.


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