A 66-year-old San Jose woman was killed Sunday night in a suspected drunken driving crash near Los Banos, the California Highway Patrol reported.
She was a passenger in a 1999 Honda sedan that left the roadway and crashed down a steep hillside along Highway 152 near Upper Cottonwood Road, according to the CHP.
She was identified Tuesday by the Merced County Coroner's Office as Rafaela Chavez-Olivera.
The driver, Ismael Mota Zavaleta, 30, also of San Jose, suffered unspecified major injuries and was taken to Memorial Medical Center in Modesto. He remained hospitalized but was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, the CHP said in a news release.
The crash was reported at 11:26 p.m. Sunday, Christmas Eve night.
Investigators said Zavaleta was driving west on Highway 152 when his vehicle left the roadway and traveled down a hill. The car sustained major frontend damage.
Chavez-Olivera, who was sitting in the front passenger's seat, was pronounced dead at the scene, the CHP said.
There were no reports of any other vehicles involved in the crash.