Local News

Jan 4, 2010 9:52 PM by Ariel Wesler

New Year's Day accident claims life of sole survivor in previous crash

A deadly accident on New Year's Day also brings with it a sad irony. The 21-year old killed last Friday was the sole survivor of another deadly crash in 2004.

The accident happened near the intersection of Blosser and Clark in Orcutt just before 11-30 Friday night.

In 2004, Damian Coles was the only one to walk away from a reckless driving accident that killed three of his friends in Santa Maria, after reaching speeds of 130 miles per hour. This time, he was the only one not to. The 21-year old died after being taken to the hospital.

The driver, 21-year old Cody Stutts, was arrested on suspicion of felony DUI and manslaughter. 21-year old Nathan Beebs is in serious condition.

A year after he survived a car accident that killed three of his friends in 2004, Damian Coles warned against reckless driving.

In the end, it's not really worth the risk of what can happen," Coles said.

Now, flowers surround the scene where coles was killed New Year's Day while riding with a drunk driver.

"It's like they say deja vu," said Judy Schiller of Santa Maria, who's grandson, Darren Prater, died in the 2004 crash.

This time around, she says the irony is frightening.

"Nathan, who survived was sitting behind Damian, and Damian was sitting in Darren's position," Schiller said.

The accident happened at night near the intersection of Blosser and Clark. CHP officers say the car was travelling more than 100 miles an hour.

"To pick up that kind of speed, you must have not stopped at all," Schiller said.

The car crashed into a fence, tree, and then came to rest after hitting a telephone poll

"A lot of times I have to have my hand stick out because the cars are going so fast, I cannot make a turn right here, said Joana Cardona of Santa Maria, who witnessed the accident from her home.

The car hit the fence so hard, a piece of wood flew into her home, ripping a gash through the metal.

She wants kids to learn their lesson before its too late.

"I hope to god this will slow them, but I doubt it. I don't think it's going to happen," Cardona said.

A memorial service for Damian Coles will be held at the Pacific Christian Center in Santa Maria at 11 a-m Thursday. It would have been Damian's 22nd birthday.


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