Officials: Driver Was Under the Influence at Time of Crash That Killed Family of 5 - NBC Southern California

Officials: Driver Was Under the Influence at Time of Crash That Killed Family of 5

Driver of van that struck family on the way to Disneyland fell asleep because of prescription drugs, sheriff's investigators say



    A Hesperia man was under the influence of prescription narcotics when he fell asleep behind the wheel, crossed into on-coming traffic and struck and killed a family of five on Mother's Day, officials said.

    Joshua Smith, 30, was behind the wheel when he dozed off near the intersection of Main Street and Balsam Avenue just before 7 a.m. May 11, according to a statement from the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department.

    His white Ford van struck a Honda sedan carrying Gerardo Jimenez, 30; Angelica Garcia, 25; and their three children, Freddy Garcia, 9; Cindy Garcia, 3; and Ivan Garcia, 2. All five died as a result of the crash.

    The family was headed to Disneyland to celebrate Cindy’s birthday at the time of the collision.

    “Investigators believe the cause of the collision is Smith’s operation of his vehicle while under the influence,” the sheriff's statement read.

    Toxicology reports showed he had “identifiable quantities” of narcotics in his system at the time of the crash.

    Smith has been cooperating with the investigation, Cindy Bachman, a Sheriff’s Department spokeswoman, said Tuesday.

    Detectives’ findings have been turned over to the San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office, which will decide if Smith will face charges.

    Follow NBCLA for the latest LA news, events and entertainment:iPhone/iPad App | Facebook| Twitter | Google+ | Instagram | RSS | Email Alerts