Witnesses Testify in Fatal Bonsall Hit-and-Run Crash

Escondido resident Juan Corza Gonzalez, 62, was killed Aug. 5 on Old Highway 395 in Bonsall

A man with past DUI convictions was ordered to stand trial on charges in a fatal crash along Old Highway 395 in Bonsall five months ago.

Garrett Gelrud, 34, was behind the wheel of his Chevy Suburban on August 5 when the SUV crossed over the double yellow lines and struck a Nissan Versa.

The impact killed the Nissan’s driver Juan Corza Gonzalez, 62, of Escondido.

Witnesses testified Wednesday in a pretrial hearing that they saw Gelrud’s vehicle weaving in and out of the lanes, nearly hitting several cars and braking hard just before the collision.

On Thursday, the judge determined there was enough evidence to send Gelrud to trial.

Alfonso and Antonia Juarez were traveling along the road when they became part of the crash.

“The Suburban was traveling north completely in our lane,” Alfonso Juarez testified in Spanish.

Antonia was injured in the collision. “My husband got me out because my legs were hurting and I couldn't breathe,” she testified in Spanish.

Less than a half hour after the crash, CHP officials received calls from citizens reporting a man walking barefoot down the road. They arrested Gelrud and charged him with driving under the influence as well as hit and run.

California Highway Patrol Officer David Alvarado described the moment he found Gelrud on the road.

“He had some scratches,” Alvarado said. “He was pretty calm. I asked him what he was doing and he said he was walking home from Pechanga.”

Gonzalez Family Photo
Juan Corza Gonzalez in an undated family photograph.
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