A woman was killed and two small children suffered "major" injuries in a solo vehicle accident in a rural part of Merced County south of Los Banos, the California Highway Patrol reported on Thursday.
The 25-year-old woman was driving a 2014 Dodge Charger eastbound on Cotton Gin Road near Holstein Road around 10:30 p.m. on Wednesday, CHP said, before the car overturned into a field.
The Merced County Coroner's Office identified the driver on Thursday as Vanessa Clarissa Robledo Pina of Los Banos.
She was turning left and ended up in the field, where all four occupants of the car were ejected, CHP said. The driver and passenger, Cody Ryan Monk, 28, of Dos Palos, were wearing seatbelts at the time of the accident, CHP said.
But, two small children, 3-year-old Vivian and 4-year-old Steven Robledo, were not properly restrained, CHP said.
Monk suffered moderate injuries and was taken to Memorial Hospital in Modesto, while the children both suffered major injuries and were taken to Valley Children's Hospital in Madera, according to CHP.
It has been a deadly week in the Los Banos area.
A driver, identified by the CHP as Mukai Masayoshi, 34, of San Jose, suffered major injuries in a crash on Tuesday in a 2013 Nissan sedan around 6 p.m. on Highway 152 near Flanagan Road, between El Nido and Dos Palos, the CHP reported. The passenger, 20-year-old Maya Isabelle Thone of Pacifica, was pronounced dead at the scene.
CHP investigators said “drugs appear to be a contributing factor in this collision” and said Masayoshi was arrested on suspicion of felony DUI.
Two days earlier, Ismael Mota Zavaleta, 30, also of San Jose, was arrested on Sunday night after a crash near Upper Cottonwood Road claimed the life of a 66-year-old woman who the CHP said was a passenger in Zavaleta’s car. The woman, Rafaela Chavez-Olivera, died at that scene.