The wrong-way driver in a Sierra Nevada crash that killed four people will be charged with murder, the district attorney in Nevada County said.
Michael Scott Kelley, 32, of Antelope (Sacramento County), has been in a Reno hospital since the Nov. 20 crash on Interstate 80 near Cisco Grove. His extradition to California will be arranged when he can travel, the prosecutor said.
Killed in the crash were four members of a North Highlands family: Antonio and Brittney Montano, both 29, their 9-year-old daughter and their 5-year-old son. Their youngest child, a 4-year-old boy, survived.
Nevada County District Attorney Jesse Wilson said Kelley will be charged with four charges of murder and four charges of gross vehicular manslaughter.
California Highway Patrol spokesman Jason Lyman told the Sierra Sun that it is suspected Kelley was driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs — and Sacramento TV station KCRA said he was on probation for an earlier DUI.
The Montano family, leaving on a vacation that Saturday morning, was eastbound around 4:45 a.m. when their 2018 Honda Civic was struck by Kelley’s 2018 Jeep Wrangler, going the wrong way on the freeway.
Kelley and the surviving Montano child were taken to Reno hospitals; the boy has been released to his aunt and uncle.
A third vehicle, a 2004 GMC pickup, was also involved in the crash; its driver suffered minor injuries.
In related news, an attorney for the family’s survivors said Tuesday that the Montano home was burglarized after the fatal crash. A spokesman for the Sacramento County sheriff’s office could not confirm that report.