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Active-Duty Marine and 21-Year-Old Woman Killed in Multi-Car Drunk-Driving Accident

Posted in Drunk Driving

On Saturday, October 10, two people—including an active-duty Marine—were killed in a multi-vehicle drunk-driving collision on Interstate 15 at approximately 4:00 am.

Kyle Cohen, 29, of Chula Vista, California, was traveling north on I-15 when his 2001 Volvo sedan rear-ended a Jeep Cherokee carrying four Marines, according to California Highway Patrol Officer Eric Newbury.

The Marines exited the vehicle to assess the damage and were standing on the shoulder to the right of the jeep when one of them, Lance Corporal Robert T. Austin, was struck by a 2001 Chevy Cavalier driven by 18-year-old Oscar Tinoco of Quail Valley. Austin, who was thrown off the side of the highway and down onto Gopher Canyon Road, was taken to Palomar Hospital and pronounced dead.

Tinoco and a 17-year-old passenger fled on foot from the scene, leaving their car blocking the lanes of the freeway. Shortly thereafter, Sarah Garcia, 21, of Fallbrook, was traveling north when she struck Tinoco’s car in her 2000 Jeep Grand Cherokee, which veered down an embankment, across the Gopher Canyon Road onramp, vaulted a guardrail, rolled down another embankment, and came to rest on its wheels, according to Newbury and the coroner’s office. Garcia was pronounced dead at the scene.

Tinoco and his passengers were caught nearby, and Tinoco was jailed on suspicion of vehicular manslaughter, driving while intoxicated, and fleeing the scene of an accident.

The other three Marines in the Jeep, Joshua Naimi, 29, Robert McBee, 20, and the driver Aaron Lowden, 20, were transported to Palomar Medical Center and treated for minor injuries.