Kern County Sheriff’s deputies in Wasco arrested a 50-year-old man on suspicion of driving under the influence after a crash on Highway 43 left a woman dead and another man injured.
Deputies responded to a 7:55 p.m. report Wednesday of an injury traffic collision at Hwy. 43 and Prospect Avenue in Wasco.
When deputies arrived they determined three vehicles had been involved in the collision, a Honda Civic, a Ford Ranger, and a Ford Expedition. Deputies located an adult female in the roadway. She was pronounced dead at the scene. The driver of the Ford Expedition, an adult male in his 20s, was transported to Kern Medical for treatment of minor injuries.
A preliminary investigation determined that the Ford Ranger being driven by 50 year old Erwin De La Pena turned north onto Highway 43 into the path of the Honda Civic being driven by the deceased female, who had been southbound on Hwy. 43. The driver of the Ford Expedition, which had also been southbound on Hwy. 43, then collided with the Honda Civic.
As a result of the investigation, De La Pena was arrested for DUI causing injury or death and failing to yield the right of way. The identity of the deceased female will be released by the Coroner’s Office. An autopsy will be scheduled to determine cause and manner of death.
The investigation is ongoing. If anyone has information on this case they are asked to call the Wasco Substation at 661-758-7266 or the Sheriff’s Office 661-861-3110.