Two killed in Merced County head-on crash identified

The Merced County Coroner’s Office has identified two people killed in an October traffic collision.

According to Deputy Daryl Allen, Margarita Leyva-Alonzo, 47, and Gabriel Amaro Rufino, 50, both of Turlock, were pronounced dead at the scene following a head-on crash on Santa Fe Drive near East Avenue, at about 5:30 a.m. on Oct. 24.

According to the California Highway Patrol, a second male passenger, believed to be in his 30s, was flown to a Modesto hospital with major injuries.

The victims were traveling east in a 2004 Chevrolet van when it was struck head-on by a 2008 Ford Crown Victoria driven by 43-year-old Charlie Everitt of Sacramento, the CHP said.

CHP officer Eric Zuniga said Everitt was traveling west on Santa Fe Drive when his car crossed into the eastbound lane and collided with the van.

The CHP said none of the van’s occupants were carrying identification at the time of the collision

Investigators believed Everitt was under the influence of a narcotic substance at the time of the collision, the CHP said.

Everitt was arrested following the collision and transported to a Modesto area hospital with minor injuries.

According to jail records, Everitt was booked into the Merced County Jail on Oct. 24 on suspicion of driving under the influence of drugs with bodily injury, gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and other felony enhancements.

Bail was set at $750,000.