Man killed in Oceano Dunes ATV crash involving alleged drunk driver, State Parks says

A Bay Area man was killed at the Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Recreation Area on Saturday after his ATV was struck by a side-by-side driven by an alleged drunk driver, according to State Parks.

It’s the fourth fatality at the Oceano Dunes so far this year.

Kevin Pearce, interim superintendent for State Parks’ Oceano Dunes district, confirmed Thursday that a man was declared dead at the scene following a crash between an ATV and a side-by-side at about 7:30 p.m. Saturday evening.

State Parks identified the deceased rider as 37-year-old Shawn Joseph Imlig of Brentwood, located in Contra Costa County.

Pearce said that State Parks rangers and lifeguards were dispatched to the Sand Highway 12 area of the dunes at about 7:26 p.m. for a reported crash and found a patient not breathing and without a pulse near the crest of a 30-foot dune.

Emergency medical crews arrived at about 7:45 p.m. and declared the patient deceased, Pearce said. San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Office deputies arrived and began an investigation, Pearce said.

After speaking with three eyewitnesses, investigators believe Imlig was riding along the crest of the dune when 35-year-old Oscar Renteria Corchado of Yuba City drove a side-by-side up the face of the dune at a high rate of speed and launched over the crest, striking the ATV rider, Pearce said.

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Sheriff’s officials took Corchado into custody on suspicion of driving under the influence causing injury and booked him into the San Luis Obispo County Jail. A jail booking log also shows Corchado was booked on suspicion of gross vehicular manslaughter.

The jail website did not have Corchado listed as in custody as of Thursday evening, and no charges had been filed against him in San Luis Obispo Superior Court.

A Sheriff’s Office spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for more information Thursday evening.

A friend of Imlig’s, Misty Silva of Livermore, said that Imlig was a backhoe operator who lived in the Bay Area for along time.

“He was a good guy, an ordinary guy, a big teddy bear,” Silva told The Tribune via phone. “He also helped my husband when we went to different (off-road races) in Johnson Valley. He was always there and sometimes he’d sleep in his truck.”

Silva said Imlig previously lived in Livermore, and his work took him to different job sites throughout the Contra Costa County area.

She said Imlig loved riding ATVs and had various groups of friends with whom he’d go riding. Silva said Imlig didn’t have children.

“He just loved riding and having fun,” Silva said of Imlig. “He went way too young. He was an all-around good guy.”

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Matt Fountain is The San Luis Obispo Tribune’s courts and investigations reporter. A San Diego native, Fountain graduated from Cal Poly’s journalism department in 2009 and cut his teeth at the San Luis Obispo New Times before joining The Tribune as a crime and breaking news reporter in 2014.
Nick Wilson covers the city of San Luis Obispo and has been a reporter at The Tribune in San Luis Obispo since 2004. He also writes regularly about K-12 education, Cal Poly, Morro Bay and Los Osos. He is a graduate of UC Santa Barbara and UC Berkeley and is originally from Ojai.