Escondido Teen Accused of Murder After Fatal Crash

An Escondido teen has been arrested after police say he intentionally caused a crash that killed another teen Friday night and then fled the scene.

The teens did not know each other, but met at a party that night and got into some type of fight "that spilled into the roadway," said Escondido Police Lt. Neal Griffin.

Juan Rebollar, 18, was arrested and booked in the Vista Detention Facility on suspicion of murder.

Escondido police said they were called to a serious crash in the area of James Street and East Valley Parkway just before midnight last Friday.

Officers found that a Toyota pickup truck had crashed into a pillar and the driver, rendered unconscious, suffered major injuries, according to a news release from the Escondido Police Department.

The driver, 19-year-old Jose de Jesus Garcia of Escondido, was rushed to Palomar Medical Center, where he later died.

Officers determined that a second vehicle had been involved in the crash and the driver left the scene before they arrived.

Police said they located that vehicle and traced the ownership to Rebollar. In an interview with investigators, Rebollar said he had been driving in the area of Bear Valley Parkway and Valley Parkway when police said he was involved in a disturbance with Garcia.

The two drivers engaged in a "cat-and-mouse" race with speeds reaching 100 mph, Griffin said.

That 's when police said Rebollar intentionally struck the pickup with his own vehicle. This caused Garcia to lose control of his pickup, leading to the crash into the pillar, police said.

Alcohol is believed to be involved, but there were no signs it was gang related, Griffin said.

Rebollar will make his first appearance in court on Wednesday.

Contact Us