Man Suspected in Deadly DUI Crash Arrested Amid Plans to Flee

On June 30, we reported on a deadly crash that occurred in Huntington Beach on June 25, which left a 14-year-old boy dead.

E. McEnally, 14, of Trabuco Canyon was in a pickup with his brother and cousin on the eve of June 25, when their vehicle was struck by a man who was suspected of driving under the influence.

After being rescued by the Huntington Beach Fire Department, who used heavy-duty rescue equipment to pry the boy out of the pickup, E. McEnally died at Huntington Beach Hospital.

DUI Suspect Arrested Before Fleeing to Mexico

The 39-year-old man charged in the crash that killed McEnally was behind bars on July 10 after the police caught him before they suspected he would flee to Mexico.

J. Xahuentitla Palacios was arrested on a warrant that charged him with various felonies, including gross vehicular manslaughter. He was arrested at his job in Newport Beach, according to Huntington Beach Police Officer Jennifer Marlatt. According to jail records, Palacios’ occupation is listed as a cook.

According to Senior Deputy District Attorney Jennifer Walker, Palacios is being accused of leaving the scene of a three-car crash that occurred on June 25, which killed E. McEnally and injured several others.

Before the deadly crash, a witness called the police around 7:35 p.m. to report that they were following a possible drunk driver, but they lost sight of him, according to Sgt. David Dereszynski.

Seconds later, the authorities received a call about the pileup on Adams Avenue and Newland Street involving a 2004 Toyota Tacoma, a 200 Nissan Frontier, and a 2006 GMC Yukon, said Dereszynski.

E. Mcnally was in the Toyota with his brother and cousin. The teenagers were on their way home after going to dinner with family.

After the Nissan collided with the Toyota, the Toyota slammed into a light pole while the Nissan crashed into the Yukon.

Palacios’ blood alcohol concentration (BAC) measured at .22%, according to Walker. Palacios is also facing charges for:

  • Three counts of DUI causing injury
  • Three counts of driving with a BAC above the legal limit causing injury

The defendant was arrested at the scene of the crash. He posted the $100,000 bail and was released. Investigators received a tip that Palacios was planning to flee to Mexico, which prompted his arrest, Walker said.

Palacios is in Orange County Jail and being held on $500,000 bail, the Newport Beach-Corona Del Mar Patch reported.

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