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South Lake Tahoe man dies in suspected drunk driving crash

A South Lake Tahoe man died and an El Dorado Hills man was arrested on suspicion of driving while intoxicated after a head-on collision Friday in South Lake Tahoe.

The accident happened at about 10:30 p.m. on Highway 50, just west of Chiapa Drive, when a westbound Ford Expedition crossed a double yellow line and struck the right front of an eastbound Chevrolet pickup truck.

The pickup’s right front passenger, David Earl Baker, 28, of South Lake Tahoe, was flown to Renown Regional Medical Center in Reno, where he succumbed to his injuries.

His sister, Ginger D. Baker, 43, of South Lake Tahoe, was driving the pickup and sustained moderate injuries and was transported to Barton Memorial Hospital in South Lake Tahoe.

The Expedition’s driver, Jonathan R. Hooker, 35, of El Dorado Hills, was arrested at the scene on suspicion of driving while intoxicated, said California Highway Patrol Officer Ruth Loehr.

Hooker was also injured and, after a medical check at Barton, was booked into El Dorado County jail in South Lake Tahoe, Loehr said.

According to the CHP report, the accident occurred when, “due to Hooker’s level of intoxication, Hooker allowed his vehicle to cross over the painted double yellow lines, into the eastbound traffic lane, directly into the path of Baker.”

When Baker attempted to turn her vehicle to the left to avoid a collision, the Expedition struck the pickup head-on in the right front, the report said.

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