Two children are dead, two young adults are hospitalized with major injuries and a Los Osos man is in custody on suspicion of felony DUI and manslaughter after a horrific one-vehicle rollover crash in Cayucos on Saturday afternoon.
The accident occurred shortly after 4 p.m. when Tanner Mengore, 22, allegedly was driving a black 2006 Chevrolet Avalanche SUV southbound on Highway 1 near Villa Creek Road at a high rate of speed and hit the asphalt curb on the right side of the road, CHP Sgt. Steven Dzida said.
Mengore ran over the curb, swerved the vehicle sharply left back onto the pavement and across all lanes of the highway, Dzida said. The SUV jumped the curb on the east side of the road and careened up an embankment, hitting a tree limb and becoming airborne. When the vehicle landed, it rolled several times, causing three passengers to be thrown out, Dzida said.
Those three passengers — a 3-year-old Los Osos child, a 17-year-old from Morro Bay and Wendi Brito, 19, of Los Osos — were taken to Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center in San Luis Obispo by emergency responders. The 3-year-old and the 17-year-old were pronounced dead at the hospital. Brito was admitted with major injuries, Dzida said.
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Another passenger, Michael Brito, 23, of Los Osos was taken to French Hospital Medical Center with major injuries. Mengore, the driver, was treated for minor injuries at French hospital and then booked into County Jail Saturday evening on suspicion of vehicular manslaughter and DUI, authorities said. He is being held in lieu of $100,000 bail, according to the County Jail website.
CHP officials did not give any information on the relationships of the people in the crash. According to their Facebook accounts, Michael Brito, Wendi Brito and Mengore all graduated from Morro Bay High School.
Authorities closed Highway 1 for about an hour to allow a helicopter and four ambulances to take the injured to the hospitals.