Tuesday, 18 June 2024

Fatal crash victim identified; man arrested for DUI, manslaughter

LAKEPORT – A Laytonville woman died as the result of a crash Friday night outside of Lakeport, and a Kelseyville man was arrested for driving under the influence and vehicular manslaughter.

Charlane Hill, 41, died at the scene of the crash, which occurred on Highway 29 just south of the Highway 175 turnoff to Hopland at approximately 9:42 p.m. Friday, according to the California Highway Patrol.

Alejandro Aurelios Arias, 28, of Kelseyville was arrested after the crash but was taken to Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital with major injuries, the CHP said.

The CHP report explained that Arias was driving a 1997 Ford Mustang westbound on Highway 29 at a high rate of speed when he entered the highway's northbound lane.

'Charlane Hill, meanwhile, was driving northbound in a 1994 Buick Regal at an undetermined speed, the CHP said. She had two passengers, Maria Hill, 40, of Clearlake, who was riding as her right front passenger, and a 10-year-old Ukiah girl was in the right rear passenger seat.

When Arias' vehicle entered the northbound lane he hit Hill head-on. The CHP report said Arias' vehicle came to rest on the highway's east dirt shoulder, facing in a northerly direction, while Hill's vehicle stopped facing the opposite direction and partially blocking the northbound and southbound lanes.

Lakeport Fire Protection District was dispatched to the crash, with Lakeport paramedic ambulance 5014 arriving on scene one minute after dispatch, according to a Lakeport Fire report issued Saturday.

Paramedics and CHP officers found one of the vehicles on fire, with all of the crash victims trapped and the roadway completely blocked, the report explained. The fire was quickly suppressed with a fire extinguisher before reaching the patient.

The Lakeport Fire Protection District responded with two engine companies and two ambulances. Fire Captain Bob Ray assumed command and immediately requested additional ambulances and helicopters for one critical patient and three patients with major injuries, Lakeport Fire reported.

Mutual aid assistance was provided by Kelseyville Fire, Cal Fire, the Lake County Sheriff's Office, Lakeport Police, with helicopters for medical transport coming from REACH and Calstar.

Lakeport medic engine 5012 and medic ambulance 5013 arrived five minutes after dispatch and

were directed by Ray to reassess patients after his initial triage, according to the fire district.

All of the parties had to be extricated from their vehicles, and paramedics found Charlane Hill dead deceased. Maria Hill had major facial injuries and altered mental state, and the child had major injuries to her extremities and abdomen.

Arias also suffered major injuries. Firefighters found he was in and out of consciousness with critical injuries to the head, pelvis and legs.

The CHP said Arias was arrested at the scene on suspicion of DUI causing great bodily injury and gross vehicular manslaughter. He'll be booked at a later time, after he is released from medical care.


Helicopters landed on Highway 29 to transport Arias and Maria Hill to Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital, while REACH took the 10-year-old to Oakland Children's Hospital.

Both of the vehicles had extensive damage, and the CHP said vehicle inspections are pending to determine the use of safety equipment.

Lakeport Fire's report noted that all four crash victims appear to have been restrained and airbags were deployed.

The CHP said the crash closed the highway between Highland Springs Road and Highway 175 for two hours and 10 minutes, with traffic diverted to Soda Bay Road.

CHP Officer Jake Bushey is investigating the crash.

E-mail Elizabeth Larson at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . Follow Lake County News on Twitter at http://twitter.com/LakeCoNews .

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