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CHP: Driver in deadly Orcutt crash was under influence of drugs and alcohol

Posted at 3:53 PM, Feb 08, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-09 00:57:35-05

The California Highway Patrol says the driver involved in Thursday’s fatal crash on Highway 135 in Orcutt was under the influence of both drugs and alcohol.

Officers on Friday said their investigation so far has established two charges they will recommend the district attorney’s office file against Gilbert Pena, 56, of Santa Maria – gross vehicular manslaughter and driving under the influence of a combination of drugs and alcohol causing injury.

Gilbert Pena

CHP says that as the investigation continues, other charges could be recommended.

The crash happened shortly before 6:30 a.m. in the southbound lanes of Highway 135 near Union Valley Parkway.

Officers say Pena crashed the big rig he was driving into the back of a vehicle near the intersection, killing both people inside.

A total of six vehicles were involved in the crash that closed a section of the highway for hours.

The Santa Barbara County District Attorney’s Office said late Friday afternoon that Pena had posted bail, which was set at $100,000, and is due in court in March. A decision on whether charges will be filed against him is expected before then.