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Police suspect drunk driver caused California fatal crash

One person is dead and another suffered life-threatening injuries after a man, suspected of being intoxicated, lost control of his vehicle and crashed into a concrete bench on Feb. 6. The early morning accident took place on the outskirts of the Santa Maria city limit on Highway 135.

According to police, the wreck occurred shortly after 1:30 a.m. when a 25-year-old Santa Maria man driving a 2016 Lexus at high speeds suddenly lost control of his vehicle after he attempted to make a driving maneuver. After smashing across chain link fencing and into a concrete bench, the Lexus flipped and landed on its roof at the Los Pinos Apartments entrance on Orcutt Road.

Rescue personnel who arrived to assist the injured individuals removed two female occupants in the back seat, one of whom was declared dead at the scene. An ambulance took the other woman to Cottage Hospital in Santa Barbara for treatment of life-threatening head injuries. The decedent was a 37-year-old woman from Santa Maria. The driver was only slightly injured, and his front seat male occupant suffered a scalp wound but declined medical treatment.

Law enforcement officials took the driver into custody on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol when the accident transpired. The report did not disclose details such as his blood alcohol content level, nor was it known when he will have his hearing.

In California, drunk driving charges can result in serious penalties if a defendant is found guilty. When serious injuries or fatalities are involved as in this case, the prosecution may push for the most severe penalties possible. Therefore, a defendant may wish to secure an experienced criminal defense attorney who could try to get the charges dropped or lowered if evidence shows that police violated the defendants rights at any time during the incident.

Source: KEYT, "One women dies in Orcutt crash, driver arrested on suspicion of DUI", Margaret Lenker, Feb. 6, 2017

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