A Modesto man involved in a crash that killed a woman along Highway 12 last month was arrested after the collision on suspicion of driving under the influence and could face additional charges, according to the California Highway Patrol.
At around 11:40 p.m. on Jan. 31, 23-year-old Destiny Schoonover of Sacramento, who was driving a Scion west along Highway 12 near Peatland Road, collided head on with a Chrysler heading east that had drifted into the westbound lane, according to the CHP.
Schoonover was pronounced dead at the scene. CHP officers arrested 69-year-old Jan Pinckney of Modesto, who was driving the Chrysler, in order to take a chemical sample, said Officer James Smith, spokesman for the CHP.
Tests revealed that drugs were suspected to be a factor in the collision, Smith said.
Officers released Pinckney to San Joaquin County General Hospital, where he was treated for injuries and later discharged.
Pinckney, who is not presently in custody, was charged with one count of felony DUI, Smith said. Investigators are currently reviewing the case in order to determine if additional charges such as vehicular manslaughter will also be filed against Pinckney, Smith said.
Smith added that it could take weeks before additional charges, if any, are filed.
“It’s a very extensive review process whenever someone loses their life,” Smith said.
Schoonover became the fourth person to die since Jan. 2013, and the first since Oct. 2013, along a portion of Highway 12 spanning from east of the Lodi city limits to the Sacramento County line, a notoriously dangerous stretch of roadway.
Safety improvements are scheduled to begin this year.
In May, the California Department of Transportation will begin installing a 4-mile concrete barrier separating the two lanes of Highway 12 spanning from Potato Slough to the Mokelumne River Bridge, according to Caltrans spokeswoman Angela DaPrato.
A 5-foot shoulder will also be installed along the center divide.
The roadwork is part of the $47 million Boldin Island Rehabilitation Project. Funded by the state and expected to last until 2017, the project is designed to improve safety along Highway 12, DaPrato said.
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