A Valley Springs man involved in a high-speed crash on Hogan Dam Road earlier this week died from his injuries, making it Calaveras County’s third fatal wreck associated with suspected intoxicated drivers since the beginning of the year.
California Highway Patrol’s San Andreas Office reported Thomas C. Land, 22, died Wednesday night at Memorial Medical Center in Modesto, where he was being treated for injuries he received the night before when he crashed his 2002 Corvette while going about 100 mph.
CHP reported Land lost control of his vehicle while negotiating a right-hand curve in the road, sending the sports car spinning into two metal fence posts and a barbed wire fence.
Rhyan Reynolds, 18, of Elk Grove, was a passenger in the car and was uninjured. Land was transported by helicopter to the Modesto hospital with life-threatening injuries.
Land was arrested for suspicion of driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs before being released to the hospital’s care, CHP said.
It has already turned out to be a deadlier year than 2011 when it comes to DUI-related fatal wrecks on Calaveras County roadways.
The San Andreas CHP said in statement that it was “disturbed” to report there have been three fatal wrecks where drugs or alcohol intoxication was suspected to be a factor so far this year, while there were only two throughout all of 2011.
Colton James Roberts, 28, of Copperopolis, was driving north March 23 in his 2003 Acura MDX on Pool Station Road when his car crossed into the southbound lane and collided head-on with a 2002 Kia Optima driven by Jamestown resident Mark Bottorff, according to a CHP report.
Bottorff’s passenger, Corazon Hicks, 71, also of Jamestown, later died from her injuries.
Roberts was arrested at the scene on suspicion of being under the influence of drugs and later charged with vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated. His trial is set to begin in Calaveras County Superior Court on June 13.
Michael R. Seright, 58, of San Mateo, died after crashing his 2002 Harley Davidson motorcycle on Highway 4 east of Pool Station Road.
Seright went off the roadway after failing to negotiate a curve, traveling down an embankment and colliding with a barbed wire fence, according to a CHP report.
CHP Officer Rebecca Myers said intoxication was suspected to be a factor in the accident.
“It’s disturbing because we’re having fatalities that shouldn’t be happening,” said she said.
Myers said that San Andreas CHP will remain vigilant in its efforts to prevent DUI-related fatalities on area roadways by enforcing the law, raising awareness and educating the public about the dangers.