Crime

Charges filed against driver in crash that killed 2 women, including Nipomo native

Cameron Oliver
Cameron Oliver

Murder charges have been filed against a Santa Maria man accused of drunken driving and speeding, causing a crash that killed two women and injured another man in Orcutt earlier this month.

Cameron Oliver, 25, has been charged with two counts of murder and felony driving with blood alcohol level exceeding .08 percent causing bodily injury to a third passenger, the Santa Barbara County District Attorney’s Office said.

With three passengers in the vehicle, Oliver was driving a 2016 Lexus in the Feb. 6 collision on northbound Highway 135 north of Lakeview Road.

The vehicle was traveling at high speeds when it veered off the roadway, crashed through a fence, struck a concrete bench and overturned onto Orcutt Road, the California Highway Patrol said.

Leann Stauffer, 37, of Santa Maria, was declared dead at the scene. Tricia Jensen, a 37-year-old Santa Maria resident who grew up in Nipomo, died several days later.

Both women were mothers, and GoFundMe pages have been established to help their families.

The third passenger, Brian Freeborn, 38, of Santa Maria, had minor injuries and refused medical treatment.

Oliver also faces several special allegations, including having a blood alcohol level above .15 percent, driving at least 30 mph above the speed limit and having been convicted of a prior DUI offense.

The criminal complaint alleged Oliver’s blood alcohol level exceeded .19 percent and that the vehicle was traveling more than 125 mph.

Oliver has a prior DUI conviction stemming from a December 2013 arrest in San Diego County, according to the criminal complaint.

“Driving under the influence of any intoxicating substance can cause death,” District Attorney Joyce Dudley said in a statement. “When specific factual and legal circumstances are alleged to have occurred, the driver will be charged with murder.”

Oliver was arrested after the crash and then freed on $100,000 bail, but he was taken into custody by the CHP on Thursday under a no-bail arrest warrant obtained by the District Attorney’s Office.

He is scheduled to appear in Santa Barbara County Superior Court’s Department 9 at 8:30 a.m. Monday, authorities said.

Noozhawk is a Santa Barbara-based news website. North County editor Janene Scully can be reached at jscully@noozhawk.com.

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