SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — Three people died in suspected DUI crashes on Bay Area roadways over the four-day Thanksgiving weekend and at least one driver was arrested every 36 minutes for allegedly driving under the influence, the California Highway Patrol reported Monday.
Officers from the CHP’s Golden Gate Division made 173 arrests in the nine-county Bay Area region on suspected DUI charges from Nov. 27-Dec. 1.
There were two traffic accidents over that time span where drugs or alcohol were suspected to play a role that claimed three lives including a horrific crash early Sunday morning on the northbound Highway 101 connector to Interstate 280 in San Jose.
Two people died and five others were injured in the two vehicle collision.
The CHP said one of the drivers involved in the crash — 21-year-old Esteban Aguilar Jimenez — had been arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence. He also faces gross vehicular manslaughter charges.
Investigators said Jimenez was driving at a high rate of speed when his Dodger Charger tried to overtake a Nissan Rogue and crashed into the vehicle at 4:10 a.m.
“The impact … caused the Nissan to travel out of control across the transition road, where it stuck a guadrail,” CHP officer Ross Lee told the San Jose Mercury News.
San Jose Fire said one person was declared dead at the scene as crews worked to extricate many others from the crumpled remains of the two vehicles.
A second victim died at the hospital. Both were in the Nissan.
The Santa Clara County medical examiner’s office identified the victims as 61-year-old Rosa Garza and 34-year-old Francisco Garza. The Garzas were both from San Jose.
Rosa Garza, who was the rear passenger in the Nissan, was pronounced dead at the scene while Francisco and a third person in the car were taken to Regional Medical Center of San Jose. Francisco was pronounced dead at 5:05 a.m. and the third person in the car had moderate injuries, Lee said.
The other victims were suffering from a variety injuries ranging from moderate and major and being treated at Valley Medical Center.