A driver suspected of being intoxicated was jailed on suspicion of vehicular homicide in connection with a solo car crash north of Clovis that killed his passenger Sunday night.
James Cabrera, 19, of Fresno was killed, the Fresno County Coroner’s Office said.
The California Highway Patrol arrested the driver, Dominick Joseph Rocha, 18, of Fresno.
According to the CHP, Rocha was headed west on Copper Avenue in a 2001 Chevrolet Malibu when he lost control and drove off the roadway east of Minnewawa Avenue around 9:20 p.m. The Malibu hit several fence post and an aluminum gate before striking a dirt embankment, causing the car to flip on its side.
The CHP said Rocha was able to get out of his car and remove Cabrera from the front passenger seat. Cabrera, however, was dead at the scene. A passing motorist stopped and called 911.
The CHP said Rocha had a .034 blood alcohol level. (Editor’s note: The story previously reported incorrectly that Rocha’s blood-alcohol level was .34, or more than four times the legal limit to drive.) Officers also found a backpack containing multiple prescription medicine and marijuana. Rocha, however, denied drinking alcohol or using drugs.
He was taken to Community Regional Medical Center in Fresno before being booked into the Fresno County Jail on suspicion of gross vehicular homicide while intoxicated, driving while intoxicated causing injury, causing great bodily injury and driving without a license. As of Thursday, Rocha was no longer in jail, and no charges had been filed by the District Attorney’s Office.