Driver charged in suspected road rage crash

Charge of assault with a deadly weapon added

SAN DIEGO - The driver captured on dash cam video in what appears to be a violent case of road rage is now charged with a serious crime. 

10News has learned 33-year-old Stephanie Pontarolo was picked up on a parole violation three days after the May 10 crash was watched thousands of times on YouTube.

The video begins with a normal freeway drive, but it has an incredible ending on Interstate 8 near Waring Road. It shows the driver of a pickup truck swerving into a silver Jetta, sending both vehicles onto the right shoulder in a cloud of dust.

"We're pretty confident that the crime fits the bill here," said Officer Jake Sanchez, who is with the California Highway Patrol.

Pontarolo, who was driving the pickup truck, was already in jail when investigators added a charge of assault with a deadly weapon in connection with the freeway crash.

Court documents obtained by 10News on Wednesday show that Pontarolo has three prior prison convictions dating back several years, all stemming from heroin and methamphetamine possession, use and sales. There was also one felony charge of illegally possessing a firearm.

Current jail records from the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department show Pontarolo is facing 10 felonies, including those from previous crimes, when she faces a judge in court next month.

"Anytime you put yourself in that situation, the ability of something bad happening is great," added Sanchez. "The significant thing about this one is that it was caught on tape."

Witnesses told the California Highway Patrol the woman in the truck flipped off the other driver with both hands before bumping into her car. Remarkably, neither driver was seriously hurt. 

Pontarolo is due in court June 5.

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