Santa Maria Crash Kills Two, Driver Charged with DUI and Vehicular Manslaughter
SANTA MARIA - Santa Maria Police have determined Javier Artemio Cortez caused an early morning accident on Saturday, March 16.
Cortez is now charged with suspected DUI and vehicular manslaughter in the deadly crash.
Officers responded to reports of a crash around 3 a.m. at the intersection of Donovan Rd. and Miller St. The collision left a white Jeep Cherokee mangled. Two are dead and one remains in critical condition.
A black Dodge sedan, heading eastbound on Donovan St., hit the Jeep Cherokee as it traveled northbound on Miller St. Two passengers were ejected from the Jeep. One woman died and a second female passenger who sustained life-threatening injuries is in critical condition at an area hospital.
The condition of a third passenger is unknown. The driver remained in the vehicle but died in the crash. Police estimate everyone in the Jeep was between 18 and 20 years old. It is not clear if anyone was wearing a seatbelt at the time of the crash.
Cortez, the driver of the Dodge sedan, and is currently held by police on charges of DUI and vehicular manslaughter.
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