FRESNO, California (KSEE) — The driver in a deadly accident Tuesday night is out on bail. California Highway Patrol said Korina Machuca was driving on Cherry Avenue in Fresno County when she allegedly hit a bicyclist. They add she was under the influence of marijuana at the time.
All morning Wednesday, Carlos Martinez has been wrapping his head around what happened on his property the night before. It started just as he turned out the light in his shop at his home around 9 p.m. Tuesday.
“I just heard a giant boom and I thought it was a blowout,” Martinez said.
When Martinez went outside he said he saw dirt flying everywhere, a car rammed into his fence, and a man lying in the middle of the road.
CHP said Machuca, 21, was driving north on Cherry Avenue when she hit the man on the bike — resulting in her also hitting Martinez’s fence. Markers of her car’s path are evident in the daylight, with pieces of her car and tire tracks still on the road.
Officer Michael Salas said officer on-scene smelled marijuana on Machuca, so a drug recognition officer was called in. CHP’s Fresno branch has 20 of them.
“They go through very rigorous training programs. It’s about 80 hours of classroom [training] and another series of evaluations after the fact,” he said.
Salas said of the over 4,000 crashed CHP-Fresno has seen this year, around 450 of them are drug-related. He said drivers need to realize taking any substance that can impair your driving puts you at risk of changing lives for the worst.
“Unfortunately [in this case], there was a victim that was killed as a result of someone’s poor choices,” Salas said.
Charges still need to be formally filed by the Fresno County District Attorney’s Office, but Salas said CHP has charged her with gross vehicular manslaughter and felony DUI.