UPDATE: Drugs or alcohol suspected in fatal crash Friday near Gorman



Drugs or alcohol may have been a factor in a fiery head-on crash near Gorman Friday night which claimed the life of a Lancaster woman and critically injured another person, an officer with the California Highway Patrol told The Signal Monday.

“Alcohol is suspected to be a factor in this collision,” the CHP officer investigating the crash wrote in his report.

Pamela Finney, 60, was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash, Kelly Yagerlener, of the Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner told The Signal Monday.

Emergency response crews responded to reports of a multi-vehicle crash on Highway 138 at Old Ridge Route Road, near Gorman, shortly before 7:10 p.m. Friday.

When crews arrived they discovered a head-on traffic collision involving two vehicles, one of which was a Honda sedan, CHP Officer Eric Preissman told The Signal Monday.

One of the vehicles was on fire.

“The deceased (person) was pronounced at 19:24 (hours) at the scene,” Preissman said.

“The other driver was airlifted to Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital,” he said.

CHP investigators are investigating the possibility that drugs or alcohol may have been a factor in the crash, Preissman said.

According to a report prepared by the CHP investigator, a 1993 GMC driven by Alberic Nault, 57, of Grover Beach, was driving a 1993 GMC truck westbound on Highway 138 just west of Cement Plant Road.

The driver of a 1997 Honda, later identified as Finney, was driving eastbound on Highway 138 near the same cross street.

“Preliminary investigation determined Vehicle One (Nault) attempted to pass a big rig in a designated passing zone without proper clearance from on-coming traffic,” CHP Officer Carlos Burgos-Lopez wrote in his report.

The two vehicles collided head-on, “causing fatal injuries to (Finney),” the report states.

Nault was airlifted to Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital by helicopter.  As of noon Monday, he was reported to be in fair condition, hospital spokesman Patrick Moody said.

Paramedics with the Los Angeles County Fire Department received the emergency call at 7:15 p.m., Fire Department Inspector Joey Marron said.

“This call was for a traffic collision with fire,” he said.

“One vehicle was on fire,” he said. “We had one patient was critical and one DOA,” Marron said, referring to a person found dead on arrival.

The crash near the Kern County line drew a response from emergency crews in Kern County and Ventura County.

CHP officers shudown Higway 138 in both directions for more than six hours.

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