Saturday, 15 June 2024

Condition of Lakeport crash victims reported to be improving

LAKEPORT – The investigation into the circumstances that led to a fatal Sept. 11 vehicle crash outside of Lakeport is still under way as the three surviving victims recover, officials said Monday.


The crash occurred shortly before 10 p.m. Friday on Highway 29 south of the Highway 175 turnoff to Hopland.


Alejandro Aurelios Arias, 28, of Kelseyville is alleged to have driven at high speed into the highway's northbound lane.


There, his Ford Mustang collided head-on with a Buick Regal driven by 41-year-old Charlane Hill of Laytonville, as Lake County News has reported.


Hill was pronounced dead at the scene. Arias was arrested at the scene for driving under the influence and gross vehicular manslaughter before he was transported to Santa Rosa for treatment of major injuries to his head, pelvis and legs.


The crash also resulted in major injuries for Hill's friend, 40-year-old Maria Hill of Clearlake – who is more commonly known by the last name Holt, according to family members – and 10-year-old Ukiah resident Elizabeth Hill, Charlane Hill's niece.


Yvette Doering, Elizabeth Hill's mother, said her daughter is at Children’s Hospital & Research Center Oakland, where she's being treated for two broken ankles, a broken humerus bone in her her right arm and a separated pelvis. The child also has had surgery to fix the broken bones.


Doering called her daughter “a complete miracle.”


“She should be home in about a week,” said Doering.


Doering said Maria Hill is in stable condition at Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital, where she was taken after the crash.


She said family members haven't yet told her daughter about her favorite aunt's death, as they want to wait until she is recovered to break the news.


On Monday Arias remained in critical condition at Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital, said spokesperson Katy Hillenmeyer.


Officer Steve Tanguay of the California Highway Patrol said the driving under the influence charge against Arias is still under investigation.


A blood draw was taken from him at Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital, and it's currently being processed by the state Department of Justice. Tanguay said it usually takes a few weeks to get the results back.


He said the charge was made against Arias because officers observed him with alleged signs and symptoms of intoxication at the crash scene.


Arias was stopped earlier in the evening near Upper Lake and given a warning for speeding, said Capt. James Bauman of the Lake County Sheriff's Office.


Because of the ongoing investigation into the crash being led by CHP, Bauman said he couldn't discuss further case details at this point.


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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