Driver Arrested in Fatal Head-On Collision on Suspicion of Being Under Influence

A driver was arrested in a fatal head-on collision allegedly involving drugs on state Highway 1 northwest of Castroville on Monday afternoon, a California Highway Patrol spokesman said.

Lynnea Hernandez, 19, was arrested on suspicion of DUI in a two-car collision on Highway 1 north of Molera Road at about 12:10 p.m., CHP Officer Oscar Loza said.

The Santa Cruz woman was driving on a southbound lane at high speeds when she rolled down her window to dispose a cigarette and steered into a northbound lane, Loza said.

She collided with a 2013 Mazda 3 driven by a 24-year-old Prunedale man, who suffered blunt force trauma injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene, according to Loza. The victim's name has not yet been released.

Hernandez and her six passengers were all transported by ambulance to Natividad Medical Center in Salinas, Loza said.

Hernandez suffered major injuries, including a lacerated liver and hip pain, and remains at the hospital as of Tuesday morning, according to Loza.

Six of the seven people inside the Lexus admitted to smoking marijuana while Hernandez was driving, Loza said.

Hernandez confessed to taking prescription medication at noon, according to Loza.

Sarah Cameron, 19, of Santa Cruz, was a passenger in the Lexus and was arrested on suspicion of destroying or concealing evidence. She was booked into Monterey County Jail, Loza said.

Cameron allegedly hid marijuana and Ecstasy in a makeup bag later found in a field, according to Loza.

Cameron complained of pain after the collision and another passenger, a 20-year-old Santa Cruz woman, was left with abrasions to her face, Loza said.

Two of the Lexus passengers, a 19-year-old Santa Cruz woman and a Colorado resident, suffered major injuries and were airlifted to Santa Clara Valley Medical Center in San Jose, according to Loza.

An update on their conditions was not immediately available Tuesday morning.

Two other Colorado women, ages 19 and 20, were in the Lexus and the younger of the two had complained of pain, Loza said.

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