Passenger in Desert Hot Springs DUI Crash Dies in Hospital - Palm Springs News, Weather, Traffic, Breaking News

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Passenger in Desert Hot Springs DUI Crash Dies in Hospital

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Desert Hot Springs, CA -

A passenger in a Desert Hot Springs car crash allegedly caused by a drunken driver has died of his injuries at a hospital, county coroners said Tuesday.

Jesus Moreno, 22, of Desert Hot Springs, was hospitalized in critical condition following a Thursday night crash that also injured five others. Moreno was in a minivan driven by 23-year-old Brandon Byars, who has since been charged with drunken driving causing injury.

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Moreno died just after 9:30 p.m. Tuesday at Desert Regional Medical Center in Palm Springs, according to the county coroner's office. The crash occurred at 8:20 p.m. last Thursday at the intersection of Ironwood and La Mesa drives.

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Two passengers in Byars' minivan were hospitalized -- Moreno and a woman with moderate injuries, according to Sgt. Corinn Lindsey. A man and his three children in the other vehicle suffered minor injuries and were checked out at a hospital before being released, Lindsey said.

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Byars was taken into custody at the scene. He pleaded not guilty Tuesday afternoon to the DUI charge and will return to court Oct. 25 for a felony settlement conference. The criminal complaint includes sentence-enhancing allegations of causing great bodily injury to the victims, including two of the children, a 13-year-old girl and 9-year-old boy whose names were withheld.

Byars was being held in lieu of $500,000 bail at the Larry D. Smith Correctional Facility in Banning.

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