Apr 18, 2012 2:23 PM by Shelby Rhodes, Photo Courtesy: Facebook

CHP: Woman killed in Highway 1 crash near Morro Bay was 27-year-old Cayucos woman

The California Highway Patrol has identified the woman killed in a crash on Highway 1 Wednesday morning near Morro Bay as 27-year-old Ashley Malmen of Cayucos.

The crash happened around 2:15 a.m. on northbound Highway 1, south of South Bay Boulevard. CHP said Malmen was a passenger in 36-year-old Michael Kessler's car. Investigators said because of Kessler's drug intoxication, his vehicle drifted off the roadway. His 2012 Toyota hit a paddle marker, before veering to the left across the northbound lanes of Highway 1. CHP said the car hit the center cement wall and the vehicle began to roll. Malmen was ejected from the car and pronounced dead at the scene, according to CHP.

CHP said Kessler fled the scene but was located on the frontage road of Highway 1. Kessler was transported to Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center with major injuries. He is in custody on charges of murder, felony DUI, and felony hit and run with injury or death.

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