A special CHP investigation team will further examine evidence from the vehicles involved in Sunday’s crash that killed a 36-year-old Paso Robles man.
The sister of Warren Ferrie, who was killed along northbound Highway 101 near Santa Margarita, said his brother-in-law — her husband — did not cause the man’s death as the CHP originally reported. Rather, she said, it was a third vehicle that drove into the crash scene.
Danielle Ferrie, the sister, said Friday that a San Luis Obispo County sheriff’s deputy coroner told her that her brother was already dead when her husband, Robert McDanell, hit Warren Ferrie while backing up to shine headlights on the accident scene.
The deputy coroner was not at work Friday and could not be reached.
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Danielle Ferrie said an initial CHP report was also incorrect in saying only Warren Ferrie and McDanell were in the Dodge Dakota truck that stopped to aid the Plymouth Voyager minivan that had rolled over on its side after an alleged drunken driver lost control.
Also in the truck were Danielle Ferrie, Warren Ferrie’s girlfriend and a close family friend.The CHP didn’t release additional details of its open investigation Friday, but noted that the special team will have more findings after Thanksgiving.
The CHP initially said that possible charges for McDanell’s involvement are still under investigation. CHP officials weren’t available for comment late Friday on that issue, but Danielle Ferrie said her husband has not been arrested nor have authorities told them whether that may be coming.
The special investigation of the vehicles is designed to determine the exact logistics of the crash by studying microscopic evidence on the vehicles involved, which are currently impounded.
Warren Ferrie’s death is known in the community as a case of a Good Samaritan that ended in tragedy.
He got out of the truck to offer help to the minivan’s driver and a trapped passenger, according to the CHP.
But the minivan’s driver, Rosalino Guzman-Tapia, said they didn’t need assistance. Moments later, Terry Lynn Hiers, a 60-year-old Atascadero resident driving a Ford van, hit the minivan.
Initial reports said Warren Ferrie was able to avoid Hiers’ van. But his sister told The Tribune on Friday that she saw the van slide into the crash scene and “the next thing I knew my brother was laying on the ground.”
As of earlier this week, Hiers had not been cited by the CHP.
Danielle Ferrie didn’t give her statement to officers until earlier this week because she was too hysterical.
“I saw my brother’s body on the ground, flat, face down, before Bobby (McDanell) backed over him,” she added. “Then I saw Bobby (McDanell) backing up, and yelled to him to stop, he did not hear me until it was too late.”
Guzman-Tapia and his passenger, Abraham Ramos, ran from the scene after Hiers crashed into their minivan, but returned two hours after the crash, CHP officials said.
Ramos, 23, of San Bruno suffered multiple fractures and deep cuts to his arm and elbow. He was taken to Twin Cities Community Hospital in Templeton for treatment.
Guzman-Tapia was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence.
A memorial service for Warren Ferrie is planned for noon on Nov. 28 at Live Oak Christian Church, 1521 Oak St., in Paso Robles. A potluck style reception will follow at the Paso Robles Elks Lodge, 1420 Park St.