FRESNO, Calif, (KSEE/KGPE) – The identities and details of what CHP says was a fatal DUI vehicle crash have been released by the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office.
According to deputies, the fatal crash took place on Saturday around 5:45 a.m.; California Highway Patrol and Fresno Police officers responded to a traffic collision on southbound Highway 99 at Clinton Avenue.
Around 6:00 a.m., officials say they located the vehicle with two victims on northbound Highway 99, north of McKinley Avenue.
Both the driver and a woman passenger sustained critical injuries and died at the scene, according to officials.
They have been identified by the coroner as 20-year-old Mariano Cruz and 18-year-old Emily Ochoa-Ascencio. They were boyfriend and girlfriend from Mendota, officials say.
A CHP investigation says that 21-year-old Eugene Roebuck of Fresno was driving northbound on Highway 99, north of McKinley Avenue at a high rate of speed.
Authorities say due to driving under the influence of alcohol, he made an unsafe lane change causing the right rear of his car to collide with the left front of Cruz’s car.
The impact caused both vehicles to lose control and veer down the embankment north of McKinley Avenue. Cruz’s vehicle struck a tree, while Roebuck’s ran through a fence and came to a rest in a field, according to the CHP investigation. It was also determined that Cruz was not wearing a seatbelt.
Sheriff’s deputies say that Roebuck was transported to a local hospital and later arrested. He was booked into the Fresno County Jail on September 3 with a bail of $277,000. His felony charges include DUI resulting in death and vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated. He was released on September 4 after posting a bond of $27,700.