One man died and another received major injuries Monday afternoon when a driver lost control and crashed into an electric pole on New Hope Road in Thornton, starting a small grass fire.
The passenger was still seat belted into the Honda Civic and was pronounced dead at the scene, and the driver was taken from the scene by medical helicopter, according to the California Highway Patrol.
Authorities suspect alcohol and excessive speed were involved, Sgt. Chris Carr said.
By early Monday evening, neither man's name was released. The driver had no identification on him and the vehicle was registered to a female Stockton resident, Carr said.
The driver was headed west near Kost Road around 2:15 p.m. when he reached a left-hand curve but continued straight, Carr said. The right side tires drifted onto the shoulder, and the driver then apparently over-corrected across the southbound shoulder.
The green car then hit a utility pole on the passenger's side of the car.
The collision did not break the pole but did make the lines come down, starting a small grass fire along the shoulder, Thornton Fire Chief Vince Tafuri said. The vehicle did not burn.
A Reach medical helicopter took the driver to UC Davis Medical Center in Sacramento, where the man's status was not available.