Off-duty Calif. deputy, daughter killed in crash; 3-time drunk driver arrested

Riverside County sheriff’s correctional deputy Daniel Jacks Jr. and his 20-year-old daughter died at the scene


By Brian Rokos
The Press-Enterprise

SAN JACINTO, Calif. — A man who has been convicted three times of driving under the influence was arrested on suspicion of vehicular homicide and DUI on Sunday night, Nov. 13, after his car slammed head-on into another car near San Jacinto, killing an off-duty Riverside County sheriff’s correctional deputy and his daughter, the California Highway Patrol said.

Daniel Jacks Jr., 45, of San Jacinto, and his 20-year-old daughter, Hannah Jacks, died at the scene, the California Highway Patrol said.

The collision happened just before 9 p.m. on Gilman Springs Road east of Bridge Street. Scott Brandon Bales, 47, of Moreno Valley, was driving his Chevrolet Silverado west on Gilman Springs when he crossed over the divided highway and into eastbound traffic, striking Jacks’ Honda Insight, the CHP said.

Bales and his passenger, a 45-year-old man from Moreno Valley, were both hospitalized. Both were expected to survive, Officer Jason Montez, a CHP spokesman, said Monday from the hospital. Bales was also arrested on suspicion of DUI causing injury, the CHP said.

Under California law, Bales could be charged with second-degree murder under the theory of implied malice. Prosecutors could argue that because of his previous DUI convictions, Bales should have known, or was told, that driving while under the influence could cause injury or death to himself or others.

A second-degree murder conviction could bring a sentence of 15 years to life in state prison.

Riverside County Superior Court records show Bales was convicted in 2008 of misdemeanor driving under the influence of alcohol and driving without a license. He was sentenced to 120 days to be served on weekends and 30 days in the sheriff’s labor program.

In 2011, he pleaded guilty to misdemeanor driving under the influence and driving without a license. He was sentenced to 150 days in the sheriff’s work-release program and five years probation. He was ordered to attend 34 Alcoholics Anonymous meetings and wear an alcohol-detection bracelet.

And in 2015, Bales pleaded guilty to felony driving under the influence, driving without a license and speeding. Online court records show only that he was sentenced to one year of supervised release.

Montez confirmed that the man arrested Sunday is the same person convicted of these charges.

Gilman Springs Road is notorious for catastrophic collisions, particularly head-on crashes. Officials have installed various safety measures over the years. Where Sunday’s crash happened, what once was only a double yellow line now has two sets of double yellow lines two feet apart, a rumble strip and plastic posts to warn drivers they are crossing into oncoming traffic, Montez said.

A message was left with the Sheriff’s Department seeking more information on Jacks.

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