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Jury deliberations begin in 2013 suspected DUI collision that killed Riverside students, grandmother

By in Press Enterprise on July 6, 2017

By Brian Rokos

Jury deliberations began Thursday, July 6, in the case of a Moreno Valley man charged with murder in the January 2013 collision that killed two Riverside Woodcrest Christian Middle School students and one of the girl’s grandmothers in Colton.

Michael Dwayne Hughes, 34, has been charged with three counts of murder, three counts of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, driving under the influence while causing injury and driving under the influence with a blood-alcohol content of 0.08 percent or higher.

Hughes has pleaded not guilty to all charges in Superior Court in San Bernardino County. He has been in custody at Glen Helen Rehabilitation Center in Devore with bail set at $3 million.

Hughes is facing second-degree murder charges because of a previous DUI conviction in Orange County, after which he signed a waiver acknowledging that drunken driving could kill others, according to court records.

Le Mason, 56, was driving a PT Cruiser north on Main Street about 7 p.m. Jan. 18, 2013, when she attempted to turn left into a driveway, Colton police said. Her vehicle was struck by a southbound Mercury Sable driven by Hughes.

Mason and the girls were headed to a dance at the Sandals Church in Colton.

California Highway Patrol investigators estimated Hughes was going 55 mph — the posted speed limit in the area — when he hit the right rear panel of the PT Cruiser. The impact caused the victims’ car to smash its front end into the back of the Mercury twice, before the PT Cruiser went spinning and overturned on its side.

Haven Alexandria Penman, 13, of Riverside, and Mason died shortly after the crash. Mason’s granddaughter, Kylan Allen, 12, of Riverside, died Jan. 25.

Colton police arrested Hughes after they determined he had a blood-alcohol level greater than .08 percent, which is the level […]    

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