West Point, CA — The CHP suspects alcohol and speed were contributing factors in a solo-vehicle crash on Highway 26 in Calaveras County that sent three to the hospital early this morning.
The CHP reports that 22-year-old Neil Macdiarmid of Sutter Creek was driving a 2003 Saturn eastbound on the highway just west of Higdon Road in the West Point area around 1:30 a.m. when he came upon a curve at a high rate of speed. CHP Sgt. Jennifer Hannum details, “He was going a little too fast and he hit his brakes, the wheels of the vehicle went straight off the south side of the roadway where the vehicle collided with a cedar tree, actually knocking it down.”
Macdiarmid was not wearing a seatbelt and was partially ejected from the vehicle. He sustained major injuries. Two passengers, Alina Lucero of Jackson and Alana Palmero of Ione, both 19-years-old, were also hurt. Lucero, who was also not wearing her seatbelt, and also had major injuries. Palmero had her seatbelt on and suffered moderate injuries. Sgt Hannum adds, “Due to stormy weather medi-flights were not able to get off the ground into the air so ground ambulances had to be called for all three occupants.”
The three were taken to Kaiser Hospital in South Sacramento. Sgt. Hannum revealed, “Macdiarmid is suspected of being drunk behind the wheel and may face felony charges for causing major injuries to his passengers.”