A California Highway Patrol cruiser
A California Highway Patrol cruiser. Photo by Chris Stone

A man who allegedly crashed a car while fleeing from Border Patrol agents on Christmas Day, killing one of his passengers, was charged by federal authorities Monday with human smuggling and assaulting a federal officer.

Kevin Antonio Quevedo-Moncada, 22, of Lake Forest, allegedly crashed into a tree after speeding away from Border Patrol agents just before 6 p.m. Saturday.

According to a probable cause statement attached to a criminal complaint filed against Quevedo-Moncada in federal court, the defendant drove “erratically” through the Thousand Trails campground, striking a Border Patrol agent’s vehicle, then later crashed off Otay Lakes Road.

One of his passengers died at the scene, while two others sustained critical injuries and were hospitalized, the document states. In a statement, the California Highway Patrol identified the deceased passenger only as a 52-year-old man, and the injured passengers as a 19-year-old man and a 29-year-old man.

The CHP said the driver was the only one wearing a seatbelt.

After the crash, Quevedo-Moncada allegedly climbed out of the car through the front windshield and fled, but was arrested.

He later told authorities that he was phoned by someone who instructed him to drive to “Chula” to pick up a package, which he believed would contain “weed and stuff,” the complaint states.

When he arrived at the designated location, three people jumped into his car and one said, “Let’s go, run!” in Spanish, he told law enforcement, which indicated to him that “they were illegal immigrants and that he was doing something illegal.”

He was to be paid $2,000 for the endeavor, the complaint states.