A solo-vehicle collision shortly after noon on Highway 50 west of Braeburn Lane in Camino on June 29 led to the deaths of the driver and a passenger, leaving another passenger with major injuries.
Michael Warner, 41, of Santa Cruz, was driving a 2004 Nissan Xterra westbound when he traveled across the center divide of the road, a CHP press release noted. The vehicle traveled down a steep embankment and struck a large oak tree. Warner and passenger Matthew Loya, 39, of Santa Cruz, sustained blunt force trauma to the head, torso and extremities. Loya was not wearing a seat belt.
Both were pronounced dead at the scene. A second passenger, Daniel Johnston, 40, of Santa Cruz, who was wearing a seat belt, sustained major injuries. He was transported to Sutter Roseville Medical Center where surgery was immediately performed.
As of June 30, Johnston was in stable condition and scheduled for more surgeries after he recovers from the initial surgery.
Preliminary reports suggest Warner either fell asleep at the wheel or suffered a medical emergency. There were no indications of evasive maneuvers as the vehicle left the road. Alcohol is not believed to be a factor.
The driver was reported to be wearing a seatbelt, but not the passenger who died.
Any witnesses to the collision are encouraged to contact CHP Officer Dave Frizzell at the Placerville CHP Office, 530-622-1110.