DUI suspect crashed into Cottage Hill School
At approximately 2:20 p.m. yesterday afternoon, Joshua Hightower-Malta was driving alone an Oldsmobile Cutlass sedan eastbound on Magnolia Rd. when he made an unsafe turning movement, causing the vehicle to go across the oncoming lane and off the north road edge. The vehicle went over the embankment where it struck an asphalt running path. The vehicle then continued northward down the embankment where it collided through the perimeter fence of the Cottage Hill School, landing on the ground close to approximately six students who were playing nearby.
California Highway Patrol personnel responded to the scene along with personnel from the Higgins Fire Department and Sierra Nevada Ambulance Service. Hightower-Malta sustained minor injuries in the collision. While the children were pelted with small bits of flying dirt and debris from the collision, they were thankfully uninjured. They were released to their parents as they responded to the school for pickup.
In the subsequent investigation by CHP officers, Hightower-Malta was evaluated and found to be under the influence of several controlled substances. He was also found to be driving on a suspended license due to multiple, previous violations of driving under the influence, and in violation of his parole.
He was also found to be transporting approximately one pound of marijuana that was packaged for sale. He was also in possession of a replica firearm. He was ultimately arrested on a number of felony and misdemeanor charges related to these offenses.
Hightower-Malta was later transported by CHP personnel to Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital where he was evaluated and treated before being booked into the Wayne Brown Correctional Facility with an additional parole-hold.
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