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Drugs Found in Drivers' Blood After Crash That Killed 11

Tragedy: Toxicology reports say both had 'significant amounts' of cocaine in their systems.

September 13, 1997| From Times Staff and Wire Reports

LOMPOC — Both drivers in a fiery crash on California 1 that left 11 dead had numerous illegal drugs in their systems, according to toxicology reports released Friday.

The driver of the van, Julio Rosa Camacho, 20, had "significant amounts of cocaine" in his system, said James Everly, a California Highway Patrol spokesman.

The pickup truck's driver, Michael Anthony Bucci, 42, of Lompoc, had "significant amounts of cocaine and opiates in his system and a trace of marijuana," Everly said.

Both drivers died in the crash.

The crash occurred about 10 p.m. Tuesday near Lompoc. A Ford pickup slammed into a Chevrolet van. Eight of the 12 people in the van were killed. All three people in the truck died.

The CHP said a preliminary investigation indicated that the pickup crossed over the double yellow lines into the oncoming lane and hit the van head-on.

CHP investigators were still combing the crash scene collecting clues to the cause of the crash. It is unknown how fast the van and the truck were traveling at impact.

Authorities released the names Friday of the seven victims in the van who burned to death. All the occupants of the van had moved to Canoga Park from Puebla, Mexico, six weeks ago.

They were: Paulino Serrano Camacho, 15; Ambrosio Martinez Vivanco, 15; Mauro Martinez Salazar, 16; Antonio Rosa Camacho, 18; Elisa Lopez Dela Rosa, 33; Eduardo Perez, 33 and Javier Camacho Perez, 33.

Authorities believe that the van's occupants had spent the day selling roasted corn in Lompoc.

Four people in the van survived the crash, including Rosa Hernandez, 47, who was in critical condition Friday after surgery a day earlier at Grossman Burn Center at Sherman Oaks Hospital. She suffered second- and third-degree burns over 30% of her body. Doctors removed dead and dying tissue from burned areas on Hernandez's body and replaced it with cadaver skin.

Hernandez is expected to undergo more surgery Monday.

Two men thrown from the van were not burned but are still being treated at Lompoc-area hospitals. Another suffered minor injuries and was released from the hospital Wednesday.

In addition to Bucci, Charlotte Gwynn Wright, 29, a passenger in the pickup, was identified by authorities. A third occupant of the pickup, a man, has been identified but his name was not released pending notification of relatives.

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