FAIRFIELD — A 71-year-old Fairfield man who careened into two minivans full of people, injuring 11, made his first court appearance since his arrest Sunday.
Shackled and wearing jailhouse garb, Joseph G. McDonald did not enter pleas to a pair of felony driving under the influence of alcohol charges. Instead his attorney, Denis Honeychurch, postponed his client’s arraignment until Friday.
Judge Wendy G. Getty advised McDonald that he could face up to 18 years in prison if he is convicted.
Honeychurch tried briefly to get McDonald’s bail set at $15,000. Deputy District Attorney Dana Vaughn asked for bail to be set at $250,000 because of the severity of the crash victims’ injuries. Of the 11 people injured, including a 6-year-old child, two of them suffered severe injuries. Nine of the crash victims were taken to local hospitals.
Police described all the injuries as not life-threatening. Police initially described the man as a 72-year-old Suisun City resident.
Getty set bail for McDonald at $210,000.
Fairfield police and firefighters and California Highway Patrol officers responded to what occurred on Waterman Boulevard near Interstate 80. McDonald was driving eastbound toward the freeway in a Ford Ranger pickup truck that crossed a double yellow line into the oncoming westbound traffic lanes.
After sideswiping a Toyota Sienna with a family of four inside, McDonald’s truck crashed head-on into a Kia Sedona with seven people inside.
McDonald was taken to a nearby hospital before he was taken to jail, where authorities say a breathalyzer test resulted in a 0.14 percent blood-alcohol level, nearly twice the legal limit.
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