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Javier Artemio Cortes

Cortes

A Santa Maria man has been charged in a DUI crash Saturday that killed two people and left a third in critical condition.

Santa Maria Police, along with Santa Maria Fire and an ambulance, responded to a collision at Donovan Road and Miller Street at 3 a.m. Upon arrival, officers discovered two vehicles had been involved and two occupants of one of the vehicles had been ejected onto the roadway, spokesman Lt. Russ Mengel said. 

As a result of the drug- and alcohol-related collision, two occupants of one of the vehicles were killed and a third remains in critical condition, Mengel said. The names of the deceased were not released pending notification of their families.

The sole occupant of the second vehicle, Javier Artemio Cortes, 27, of Santa Maria, was arrested and booked at the Santa Barbara County Jail on charges of DUI causing injuries and vehicular manslaughter, Mengel said.

The investigation is ongoing and when the collision report is completed, it will be forwarded to the Santa Barbara County District Attorney's Office for a review to determine if there will be any additional criminal charges filed, he said.

This is the first fatal traffic collision in Santa Maria in 2019, Mengel added. The last occurred Dec. 26.

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