SANTA MARIA, Calif. -- Police say the driver responsible for a five-car pile up will now be charged with vehicular manslaughter. An 18-year old passenger in one of the cars involved died from injuries at the hospital.
The crash happened on June 16th around 8:30 p.m. When police arrived they found three people with major injuries in a 1997 Toyota Camry. All three people were taken to Cottage Hospital in Santa Barbara.
19-year old Cristian Iban Rodriguez Carbajal of Santa Maria was identified as the driver of a black 1997 Chevy pickup involved in the accident. He was arrested after the accident on charges of DUI causing injury and reckless driving. Carbajal had minor injuries from the accident.
Three other cars were damaged in the accident, but no one else was hurt. 18-year old Jade Marie Dodson died at Cottage Hospital from injures sustained in the accident. 19-year old Robert Anthony Dodson-Carag is still in critical condition and a 7-year old was treated for injuries to the head but is expected to be okay.
Carbajal's booking charges have now been changed to vehicular manslaughter with an increased bail to $500,000.
Investigators determined the cause of the accident was due to Carbajal driving through a red light on Broadway and McCoy. Carbajal was driving at a high rate of speed when he slammed into another car, according to police. The suspect's car collided with the Toyota Camry afterwards, where Jade Dodson was a passenger. Two more cars were also hit because of the first two collisions, police said.
Investigators say drugs are suspected to be a factor in the collisions. Anyone with information on where Carbajal's black truck was before the accident is asked to call Santa Maria Police.