The driver of a vehicle that crashed on the 101 Freeway in Newbury Park yesterday, killing two people inside, was under the influence of drugs, the California Highway Patrol said today.
Gina Garcia, 58, of Ventura has been arrested on suspicion of vehicular manslaughter and DUI causing injury, according to a CHP statement.
The identities of the deceased, a 24-year-old woman from Oxnard and a 25-year-old man from Ventura, are being withheld pending notification to family.
According to the CHP, Garcia was driving a Kia Sorrento SUV north on the 101 around 12:10 p.m. when she let the vehicle drift into the fast lane, colliding with a gray Chevrolet SUV just past Borchard Road.
“The impact of the collision resulted in the drivers of both vehicles losing control,” CHP said. “The Kia veered in a northwesterly direction where it struck a black Toyota sedan in the slow lane. The Kia continued across the right shoulder and into a dirt/bush area where the Kia struck a tree, overturned and landed on its roof.”
The two passengers in the Kia were pronounced dead at the scene. Garcia was taken to the hospital to be treated for major injuries, the CHP said.
The drivers of the Chevy and Toyota narrowly escaped injury, although their vehicles sustained minor to moderate damage, the CHP said. The Chevy hit the center divider then “continued across all northbound lanes to the right shoulder, where it came to rest.”
The driver of the Toyota was able to safely stop on the right shoulder.
Asked what type of drugs Garcia is suspected of being on at the time of the crash, a CHP spokesperson said the agency was not prepared to release that information pending a toxicology report.
The crash remains under investigation.
Anyone who may have witnessed the incident and who hasn’t already given a statement is asked to call the CHP’s Moorpark office at (805) 553-0800.