The fatal Tulare County crash happened around 5:20 p.m. Sunday on Highway 198 just west of Road 248.
The identity of the deceased, a 61-year-old Visalia woman, has not been released, pending the notification of her family. She died at the scene.
CHP said she was the sole passenger in a 2001 Mercedes C200 sedan driven by Joshua Young, 37, of Visalia, who received major injuries after the front of his car struck the front of an SUV. CHP investigators believe Young was under the influence of alcohol, officers said in a statement.
While attempting to pass a car in front of him while traveling west on Highway 198, Young pulled into the eastbound lane going approximately 80 mph and struck an oncoming 2011 GMC Yukon head-on just south of the roadway.
The driver of that SUV, Amanda Clark, 32, of Tulare received moderate injuries. Its passengers, a 6-year-old girl, 4-year-old boy, and 56-year-old woman, Keely Stidham, all of Tulare, received minor injuries, CHP said – but a family member on Wednesday said Stidham’s injuries are major.
Young was booked in Tulare County jail on suspicion of murder and drunken driving with a blood-alcohol level of more than .20 causing injury, among other charges.