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4 Die in Anaheim Trucking Accident; Truck Driver Was Speeding

Posted on Nov 12, 2010

Four members of a Redlands family were killed last February after a truck driver travelling at an “unsafe rate of speed” rear-ended their vehicle. Anaheim truck driver, George Leslie Pelonis, 60, was charged with vehicular manslaughter Friday after for causing the deadly chain-reaction crash on the I-15 Freeway.
The California truck accident took place the southbound I-15 near Jurupa Avenue about 12:30 p.m. on February 13, 2010. Traffic was stop-and-go with drivers traveling between 10 mph and 30 mph.  However, the impatient truck driver was traveling 42 mph when he rear-ended an SUV and pinned the vehicle and its passengers between two tractor-trailer semi-trucks as both vehicles were engulfed in flames.
The SUV was driven by Ryan Villalpando, 32, a football coach and school teacher from Moreno Valley. His passengers were his wife Veronica, 29, his son Matteo, 4, and his infant daughter Bella Rose, 7 months.
Pelonis was able to escape his truck without injury; the Villalpando family were trapped in their burning vehicle and died at the scene.
Eight other vehicles were involved in the collision, but the occupants sustained only minor injuries.
Pelonis was charged with one count of misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter for the wrongful death of the Villalpando family.  He is scheduled to be arraigned Dec. 13 in the Rancho Cucamonga division of the San Bernardino County Superior Court.

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