A head-on collision on Highway 49 Saturday, just south of the passing lane by the Calaveras County airport, left two adults dead and a 10-year-old girl in critical condition, according to a report from the California Highway Patrol.
Evidence found in the wreckage led a CHP officer to suspect alcohol or drugs may have been a contributing factor in the collision, but more information regarding that evidence was not released as of Monday morning.
Penny Miles, 52, was driving a 2007 Toyota Tacoma southbound when she allowed it to veer across double yellow lines and into oncoming traffic at 12:55 p.m.
The CHP report said this unsafe driving movement was “possibly due to her intoxication.”
Eleazar Rodriguez, 49, Galt, was driving a 1996 Chevy 16-foot box truck northbound when Miles’ vehicle veered directly in front of his vehicle, causing a head-on collision, the report said. Both vehicles sustained major damage, and when emergency medical personnel arrived on scene both Miles and Rodriguez were pronounced dead, the report said.
Rodriguez had a 10-year-old passenger in his truck who was not named in the CHP report, because she is a minor. She was transported via life flight to UC Davis Medical Center to be treated for major injuries, the report said. Meyers said she was listed as critical but stable.
All those involved were wearing seatbelts, and the speed at which each vehicle was traveling was not known.
California Highway Patrol Officer Rebecca Myers cautioned drivers to be aware that even when driving larger safer vehicles, accidents at high speeds can be deadly.
“If you’re doing 55 and you’re brought to a sudden stop, your internal organs don’t just stop,” she said.
The crash remains under investigation, Meyers concluded.