Motorist due in Las Vegas court on felony DUI charges in fiery 3-vehicle crash that killed 2
LAS VEGAS A Las Vegas man will face five felony drunken driving charges that, combined, could get him 100 years in prison in a fiery three-vehicle crash that killed a shuttle bus driver and a German tourist, prosecutors said Tuesday.
Jonathan Donner, 24, of Las Vegas, was among four people injured in the Saturday evening crash at a busy downtown Las Vegas intersection.
Donner was driving a BMW that sped through a red light and hit the shuttle bus, causing it to overturn and burst into flames, police said. The BMW also caught fire and spun into another car.
Shuttle driver Jose Francisco Cosenza, 53, of Las Vegas, and a 34-year-old German tourist perished in the flaming bus. The name of the man from Germany wasn't immediately made public by the Clark County coroner, pending notification of his relatives.
Three other people in the bus escaped the burning vehicle with burns and other injuries. They were identified as Stefanie Kloeppel, 30, of Germany; and Brian Zerbee, 39, and Sara Zerbee, 34, both of Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
Witnesses who heard the crash said that by the time they reached the scene, the shuttle was ablaze and they couldn't get to the two people inside.
Donner received moderate injuries, and the driver of the second car wasn't injured, police said.
Donner faces two charges of driving under the influence causing death and three charges of DUI causing substantial bodily harm, according to jail records. It wasn't immediately clear if he had a lawyer.
Prosecutor Brian Rutledge said it could take several days to receive the results of Donner's blood-alcohol tests.
Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson compared the crime of driving drunk with shooting at another person.
"A vehicle can be a deadly weapon," Wolfson said. "When you make a decision to drive a vehicle under the influence, it's akin to choosing to fire a weapon at someone."