Driver in I-8 Collision Caught on Cam Charged with Felony Assault

One driver is in custody on drugs, weapons and reckless driving charges

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    NEWSLETTERS

    The driver in a crash that garnered hundreds of thousands of hits on YouTube is now facing felony charges. As NBC 7’s Steven Luke explains, prosecutors say it was an intentional act of road rage. (Published Wednesday, May 21, 2014)

    One of the drivers involved in a dramatic collision on Interstate 8 that was caught on video has been charged with two counts of felony assault with a deadly weapon, plus driving on a suspended license, officials said Wednesday.

    Video of the collision between Stephanie Pontarolo, 33, and another driver on May 10 was captured by another driver and posted to YouTube.

    Truck Veers into Car, Flips Over

    [DGO] Truck Veers into Car, Flips Over
    A dramatic rollover is caught on dashcam. NBC 7's Liberty Zabala spoke with the CHP, who originally investigated the incident as possible road rage. (Published Monday, May 12, 2014)

    At one point, Pontarolo's Toyota Tacoma veered into the path of a Volkswagen Jetta along I-8 near College Avenue, according to the California Highway Patrol.

    Both vehicles moved to the freeway shoulder and the pickup truck rolled.

    Pontarolo suffered minor lacerations to her face, arm and foot, officials say. The other driver complained of injuries to her back.

    The video has more than 300,000 hits on YouTube and is now being used as a key piece of evidence in a criminal case.

    Pontarolo was arrested on Tuesday, May 13 and booked under a misdemeanor reckless driving charge along with other charges alleging possession of drugs and a firearm. She was later charged with two felony counts of assault with a deadly weapon and driving on suspended license.

    "We believe this was an intentional act using a vehicle to ram into another vehicle, we believe that was a danger to society, a danger to the public," said Daniel Bahk, San Diego County Deputy District Attorney. “It was an intentional act based off of a road rage incident.”

    Pontarolo was arraigned Monday. Court files show she has a lengthy rap sheet, with a heavy dose of drug charges and other open cases, which is partly why a judge revoked her bail at the arraignment.

    Pontarolo is in custody on $150,000 bail and faces up to eight years in prison if convicted.

    Her preliminary hearing has been scheduled for late July.
     

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