San Jose woman accused in crash that killed two Nevada Union students, injured third |

San Jose woman accused in crash that killed two Nevada Union students, injured third

A San Jose woman accused in the wreck that led to the deaths of two Nevada Union High School students remained Monday in a Modesto hospital, the California Highway Patrol said.

Sabrina Distura, 21, will face at least a charge of felony DUI. Authorities are examining additional charges, including vehicular homicide, said Officer Shannon Stiers, public information officer with the Los Banos CHP.

“I’m just waiting for the DA information to come back,” Stiers said.

According to Stiers, Tyler Nielson, 17, and Justin Gardner, 16, died Sunday after a wreck on Interstate 5, north of Highway 165. Distura was driving a 2015 Honda north around 11:50 a.m. when she crossed into the dirt median and then into oncoming traffic.

“Sabrina lost control, went into the center divide and went head-on with the other vehicle,” Stiers said.

Driving a Nissan, Nielson suffered major head trauma and was killed, Stiers said. The Merced County Sheriff’s Office pronounced him dead at 12:38 p.m. Sunday, said Deputy Daryl Allen, public information officer.

Gardner, sitting behind Nielson, also had head trauma. An air ambulance took him to Doctors Medical Center in Modesto, where he died around 4 p.m. Sunday, Stiers said.

An autopsy was scheduled Monday for both teens. No cause or manner of death has been determined, Allen said.

Dawson Fay, 16, was in the front passenger seat of Nielson’s vehicle, Stiers said. Kelly Rhoden, principal of Nevada Union, said in an email that Fay suffered a broken hip.

Stiers said Distura was taken to Memorial Hospital Los Banos with minor injuries. She was transferred to Doctors Medical Center in Modesto at some point.

An officer remains with Distura at the hospital. Authorities will take her into custody once she’s released, and book her into the Merced County Jail, Stiers said.

To contact Staff Writer Alan Riquelmy, email or call 530-477-4239.

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