UPDATE: CHP identifies people involved in fatal Hwy. 1 wreck


The man who died in a traffic collision Wednesday on Highway 1 near Cayucos has been identified as 27-year-old Fernando Rafael Mendoza of Cambria, according to CHP officials.

Three other people suffered major injuries in the head-on collision that took place near San Geronimo Road.

Mendoza was driving northbound faster than the 55 mph speed limit, though investigators don’t know his exact speed, said CHP spokesman Joe Vega.

Driving a 1992 Toyota Camry, Mendoza was attempting to pass slower traffic in his lane when he drove into the southbound lane and crashed head-on into a couple from Tennessee. Mendoza’s girlfriend, 34-year-old Robyn Smith of Cambria, was riding as a passenger in his vehicle, Vega said.

The married couple – 45-year-old Phillip Tinsley and 52-year-old Sheralyn Tinsley of Franklin, Tenn. – was in a rented 2010 Dodge Avenger. The Tinsleys and Smith were transported by ambulance to Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center and all suffered major injuries, Vega said.

It took an hour and 40 minutes for Mendoza to be extricated, Vega said. Mendoza was taken by aircraft to Twin Cities Community Hospital in Templeton, where he was pronounced dead.

Traffic was closed in both lanes for about two hours and re-opened about 4:40 p.m.

--Nick Wilson

Original story:

A person has died in a wreck on Highway 1 near San Geronimo Road north of Cayucos, according to the California Highway Patrol.

The wreck temporarily closed the highway, but it has since been re-opened in both directions. The CHP didn’t have immediate information about how many vehicles were involved and how many people may have been hurt.

CHP dispatchers expected to provide more details this evening.

This story will be updated as details become available.