Oct. 23, 2012
By Hannah Guzik, OVN correspondent
An Oxnard woman suffered major injuries after she was thrown from a pickup during a crash on Highway 33 near Wheeler Gorge early Monday, officials said.
Ojai resident Duane Crecelius, 52, was driving north at approximately 1:05 a.m. when he veered onto the right shoulder and hit a boulder about a half-mile south of Wheeler Gorge, according to the California Highway Patrol.
Several passing drivers called to report the single-vehicle crash at about 1:30 a.m., the CHP said.
Santana Brissette, 34, who was not wearing a seatbelt, was reportedly thrown from the vehicle, said Officer Steve Reid with the CHP Ventura-area division.
“This crash has two lessons,” he said. “The first is that seat belts save lives. In this case, the passenger wasn’t seat-belted and she received significant injuries when ejected from the vehicle.”
Brissette was transported by ambulance to Ventura County Medical Center where she was treated for leg and pelvis injuries, according to the CHP.
Crecelius, who complained of injuries, was also taken to the hospital. It was determined he was not significantly injured, Reid said.
He was determined to be under the influence of a controlled substance at the time of the crash, the CHP reported.
“The second lesson is don’t drive while impaired,” Reid said. “Don’t drive while intoxicated or under the influence of drugs. The fact that this individual was determined to be under the influence of a controlled substance led to his inability to drive safely.”
Crecelius was arrested and booked into Ventura County jail on suspicion of felony DUI and being under the influence of a controlled substance.
He was released Monday evening, according to jail records.
The crash is under investigation.