CARMEL VALLEY, Calif. - UPDATE 10/17/2017 4:30 PM: 37-year-old Jeffrey Allen Moser of Carmel has been sentenced to 5 years of felony probation after ramming into a trailer full of people.
Moser was facing a possibility of 6 years in California Department of Correction and Rehabilitation. He had previously pled guilty to one count of driving under the influence causing injury with an enhancement for causing great bodily injury.
The charges stemmed from a November 6, 2016 collision that seriously injured one victim.
Officers responded to the scene of a collision located in the area of Carmel Valley Road where a tractor-trailer carrying 8 passengers including a 4-year-old child was struck from behind by the defendant.
The victim was thrown from the trailer and sustained numerous injuries including a broken rib. In the video, you can see the defendant honking his horn, waving his hands and flipping off the trailer right before he crashed into it. The defendant claimed he was attempting to “mess around” with his friend Pete, the driver of the trailer, when he mistook the accelerator for the brake. The California Highway Patrol conducted a DUI investigation and concluded the defendant was under the influence at the time of the collision, with a blood alcohol level of .21, almost three times the legal limit. He admitted to consuming one vodka cranberry cocktail but stated he felt fine to drive.
UPDATE 11/18/2016 6:30 PM:
An alleged drunk driver rams into a trailer full of people and it’s all caught on video. Prosecutors say that driver, Jeff Moser of Carmel Valley, is now facing felony charges.
The crash happened earlier this month on Carmel Valley Road, when “Cowboy Pete” Azevedo was carrying seven passengers on a tour of different tasting rooms. One of those passengers happened to be recording the incident and captured the suspect yelling and waving his hand out the window. Moments later, for whatever reason, the driver is seen ramming into the back of the tractor wagon.
"I was sitting in the front and all of a sudden 'BOOM' and people started screaming," Azevedo said.
A woman sitting in the front seat was thrown from the wagon because of the impact. She is seen getting up and sitting down on the side of the road.
Azevedo knows Moser. He said he didn’t believe the incident was intentional, thinking Moser was joking when he was recorded yelling and making gestures.
Moser is well known in the area, having worked at several wineries and tasting rooms. Prosecutors have charged him with driving under the influence, DUI causing injury and assault with a weapon. All of the charges are felonies. He’s scheduled to be arraigned Nov. 22 in Salinas.
Azevedo said he’s never had anything like this happen before. Gary Munslinger, the owner and operator of the Wine Trolley says road rage incidents are seldom.
As a resident of the area, Munslinger knows traffic can be challenging when out-of-towners come for visits.
"The weekends can get pretty busy, especially if you have a car event or we now have a farmer's market or other events in the community center, so parking and traffic get pretty tough,” Munslinger said. “And the wine trolley itself keeps the drunk drivers off the roads, so we really take pride in the fact that we keep 50 drunk drivers off the road on an average Saturday afternoon."
And residents seem to understand that.
"Gives people jobs and it's a nice place for adults to come and enjoy themselves," Ken Principe said.
Between the tractor and the trolley, typical drivers are forced to slow down.
As for Moser, Azevedo has these words:
"Made a mistake son, you made a mistake. And that's all you can say."
A driver who crashed his car into the back of a trailer of wine-tasting tourists last week will face three felony charges.
Prosecutors said Friday that Jeff Moser was to be arraigned on charges of driving under the influence of alcohol, D.U.I causing great bodily injury and assault with a deadly weapon, all felonies.
Prosecutors say on November 6, 2016 Moser drove his car into the back of the trailer as it was being pulled down Carmel Valley Road by a slow-moving tractor.
Tonight, KION's Mariana Hicks talks with the tractor's driver and looks at traffic safety concerns on the heavily-traveled Carmel Valley Road.