- Associated Press - Thursday, October 29, 2015

LAS VEGAS (AP) - A man charged with causing a fiery fatal sightseeing bus crash in Las Vegas while driving drunk and on drugs in September was on bail at the time following an arrest in a rural Nevada town about 300 miles away, officials said Thursday.

Jonathan Carrington Donner posted $54,500 bail following his arrest early July 13 in Hawthorne on felony drug and marijuana possession and transport charges and two misdemeanor charges, including driving under the influence, a Mineral County jail official said.

Mineral County District Attorney Sean Rowe didn’t immediately respond to messages about whether criminal charges have been filed.

The local Mineral County Independent-News reported in July that Donner and a passenger were in a vehicle stopped by a sheriff’s deputy who found several pounds of marijuana, dozens of acetaminophen hydrocodone pills and thousands of dollars in cash in the car. The newspaper said the other man was arrested on lesser charges, booked at the local jail and also freed on bail.

In Las Vegas, charges were upgraded against Donner on Thursday to accuse him of having cocaine residue and the painkiller hydrocodone in his system - along with 2.5 times the legal limit of alcohol - when the car he was driving hit a tour bus that burst into flames.

Prosecutor Brian Rutledge and Donner’s public defense attorney, Steve Yeager, said a preliminary hearing was reset to Jan. 21.

Yeager said he needed time to review police reports of the crash.

Donner, 25, was hospitalized after the crash and later transferred to the Clark County jail in Las Vegas. He’s being held on $1 million bail on two charges of driving under the influence causing the death and three charges of DUI causing substantial bodily harm. He could face up to 100 years in prison if convicted of all charges.

He’s charged with driving a speeding BMW past a red light and hitting the tour bus, causing it to overturn and burst into flames. The BMW also caught fire and spun into another car.

Tour driver Jose Francisco Cosenza and German tourist Rolf Kloeppel died in the burning bus. The Clark County coroner found that both died of burn injuries. Their deaths were ruled accidental.

Kloeppel’s wife, Stefanie Kloeppel, and Brian Zerbee and Sara Zerbee, a couple from Cedar Rapids, Iowa, were badly hurt.

The driver of the second car wasn’t injured.

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