Man suspected of DUI, murder after double-fatal crash in La Verne

LA VERNE — An allegedly intoxicated driver crashed his car into a tree while fleeing the scene of another minor crash early Saturday, killing his two passengers, authorities said.
Alan McConnell, 27, of Covina was booked on suspicion of murder, vehicular manslaughter, felony driving under the influence and hit-and-run, La Verne police Lt. Nick Paz said. He was unhurt in the crash.
Renee Hardy, 20, of Alta Loma and Telassie Dague, 22, of Alta Loma died in the crash, Los Angeles County Department of Coroner Investigator Jim Blacklock said.
They were passengers in the 2000 Pontiac Grand Am McConnell was driving, officials said.
McConnell was allegedly involved in a minor collision with another car shortly before 12:45 a.m. on Foothill Boulevard at Damien Avenue just prior to the fatal crash less than half a mile to the east at Foothill Boulevard and Wheeler Avenue, police said.
“He hit the curb when he was fleeing eastbound (on Foothill Boulevard), lost control, hit a center divider and a tree on the center divider, and came to rest on the north curb,” Paz said.
The woman in the rear passenger seat died at the scene, Paz said, while the woman in the front passenger seat was rushed to Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center, where she was pronounced dead.
Initial tests indicated McConnell’s blood-alcohol level appeared to be over the legal limit, and he failed a field sobriety test, officials said. Police were also looking into the possibility he was under the influence of drugs.
Official records indicate McConnell has had numerous run-ins with the law prior to Saturday’s crash.
McConnell was charged with drunken driving and driving with a suspended license in December of last year in Pomona Superior Court, court records show. Information on the status of that case was not available Saturday.
He was also arrested on Tuesday and before that on Jan. 12 by deputies from the sheriff’s San Dimas station, according to sheriff’s booking records.
He was arrested Tuesday on suspicion of driving with a suspended license, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Sgt. Alex Vargas said. It was not clear Saturday what the Jan. 12 arrest was for.
In September of 2008, he was convicted of driving with a suspended license in Pomona Superior Court, records show, and he was convicted of marijuana possession in December of 2001.
According to sheriff’s booking records, McConnell was being held in lieu of more than $2.1 million. Information on his initial court appearance was not available.

Facebook Twitter Reddit Tumblr Linkedin Email