Crime

2 Atascadero women killed in suspected DUI crash in Santa Maria, sheriff says

Two people were killed and another was critically injured early Saturday in a suspected DUI crash at Donovan Road and Miller Streetin Santa Maria. The driver of one vehicle was arrested on suspicion of driving while intoxicated.
Two people were killed and another was critically injured early Saturday in a suspected DUI crash at Donovan Road and Miller Streetin Santa Maria. The driver of one vehicle was arrested on suspicion of driving while intoxicated.

Two Atascadero women were killed over the weekend in a suspected DUI crash in Santa Maria, authorities said.

The victims were Monica Gonzalez, 20, and Madison Elizabeth Coleman, 17, according to Kelly Hoover, a spokeswoman for the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department.

The name of a third person who was critically injured in the crash has not been released.

The Atascadero Unified School District confirmed that Gonzalez and Coleman had been students in the district but couldn’t say anything more due to confidentiality laws.

“We do have counseling available when students return tomorrow as today is a Staff Development day,” spokeswoman Stacey Phillips said in an email to The Tribune.

The collision occurred just after 3 a.m. Saturday at the intersection of Donovan Road and Miller Street, according to Lt. Russ Mengel of the Santa Maria Police Department.

“Officers responded and found two vehicles that had been involved in the collision, and two occupants of one of the vehicles had been ejected into the roadway,” Mengel said. “As a result of this drug- and alcohol-related collision, two occupants of one of the vehicles were killed and a third remains in critical condition.”

The sole occupant of the second vehicle, Javier Artemio Cortes, 27, of Santa Maria, was arrested on suspicion of felony DUI causing injury and vehicular manslaughter.

He was booked into Santa Barbara County Jail.

The investigation into the first fatal crash in Santa Maria in 2019 was continuing, Mengel said.

Noozhawk executive editor Tom Bolton can be reached at tbolton@noozhawk.com. Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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