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Auburn man arrested for manslaughter in Thursday night crash that killed passenger

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Be prepared when you hit the road. Here are some quick tips on what to do if you are in a car accident.
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Be prepared when you hit the road. Here are some quick tips on what to do if you are in a car accident.

An Auburn man was arrested for vehicular manslaughter after a high-speed collision Thursday night resulted in the death of his passenger, the California Highway Patrol said.

Joaquin Lopez Pinto, 28, was driving at an “extremely high rate of speed” just after 9 p.m. when his 2006 Honda Civic crashed into an embankment off of Highway 49 near Grass Valley, CHP’s Grass Valley office said in a news release. A CHP spokesperson could not estimate the speed in mph due to the ongoing investigation.

Officers arrived at the scene near Lime Kiln Road to find the seriously damaged Honda overturned amid heavy brush about 40 feet down the embankment, CHP said.

The front passenger, who was not wearing a seat belt, suffered fatal injuries while Pinto sustained minor injuries and was taken to Sutter Roseville Medical Center, according to the news release. Upon discharge, Pinto was booked into Nevada County jail for felony vehicular manslaughter.

Pinto, who is unlicensed, was determined to have been driving in a “grossly negligent, reckless” manner prior to the collision based on physical evidence observed at the scene, CHP said in the release.

The victim’s identity will be released by the Nevada County coroner’s office following notification of family.

Michael McGough anchors The Sacramento Bee’s breaking news reporting team, covering public safety and other local stories. A Sacramento native and lifelong capital resident, he interned at The Bee while attending Sacramento State, where he earned a degree in journalism.


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