Crime

Woodlake woman killed in man’s suspected DUI crash. Will DA file murder charge?

The California Highway Patrol reported that Luis Cabrera-Ponce fatally injured a Woodlake woman while attempting to elude Woodlake police at Highway 216 and Avenue 336.
The California Highway Patrol reported that Luis Cabrera-Ponce fatally injured a Woodlake woman while attempting to elude Woodlake police at Highway 216 and Avenue 336. Google Maps

The California Highway Patrol ib Thursday booked Luis Cabrera-Ponce, 23, in connection with a fatal collision near Woodlake that ended a police chase and is believed to be alcohol-related.

Cabrera-Ponce could be charged with murder in the case if he was under in the influence of alcohol or drugs, a CHP officer said.

The crash took place on Highway 216 at Avenue 336 just before 10 p.m. Woodlake police started the pursuit inside city limits and he drove out of the city, the CHP said.

The CHP said Cabrera-Ponce, 23, of Woodlake was heading west on Avenue 336 in a 2010 Chrysler while trying to evade Woodlake police officers. Cabrera-Ponce reportedly blew the stop sign at Highway 216 west of Woodlake in an area of citrus trees and broadsided a 2015 Nissan driven by a Woodlake resident.

The victim has been identified as Elizabeth Marie Ramirez, 27.

She died at the scene, and Cabrera-Ponce sustained major injuries. He was taken to Kaweah Delta Medical Center.

CHP officer Steve Beal said Woodlake police are investigating the suspected DUI. The Tulare County District Attorney’s Office said Friday it expects to get police reports soon.

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