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CHP: Five suffer major injuries in Hwy 46 crash

CHP advises drivers to use Highway 58 and 46 as alternate routes.
Posted at 9:56 AM, Feb 13, 2022

Eight people were injured in a three-car crash along Hwy 46 on Saturday night, according to information shared by the California Highway Patrol on Sunday morning.

The crash, which happened in the westbound lanes of Hwy 46 in Paso Robles, involved two impacts, CHP officials say: the initial crash and a second collision, when an oncoming van hit one of the damaged vehicles and ejected three passengers.

The initial crash happened at about 7:50 p.m. Officials say that Maria GarciaDearteaga, 49, of Pahrump, NV, was driving an SUV south along River Grove Dr. As she crossed Hwy 46 intersection, she did not notice an oncoming compact car in the westbound lanes.

GarciaDearteaga crossed in front of the car and was unable to get out of the way before the impact.

After the crash, both vehicles came to rest in the fast lane of the highway.

At 7:51 p.m., Mauro Jimenez, 62, of Paso Robles, was heading west in the fast lane of Hwy 46. He was unable to avoid the SUV and his van hit the back corner of the vehicle, causing it to spin several times.

Three passengers inside the SUV, who were not wearing seat belts, were thrown from the vehicle onto the roadway.

In all, the four passengers inside the SUV, the two inside the compact car and the two inside the van were injured.

Maria GarciaDearteaga was airlifted to Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center for immediate treatment. Officials say she sustained moderate injuries. The three passengers in her SUV and the two in the compact car sustained major injuries. They were taken to Sierra Vista by ambulance. Jimenez and the passenger in the van were taken to Twin Cities Community Hospital for treatment of minor injuries.

The westbound lanes of Hwy 46 were closed for several hours following the crash.

No arrests were made in the crash, and officials say that neither drugs, alcohol nor distracted driving contributed to the crash.