Northeast Bakersfield

Man with prior DUIs suspected in fatal drunk-driving crash

Man with prior DUIs suspected in fatal drunk-driving crash »Play Video
The aftermath of a fatal crash Thursday, Oct. 17, 2013, is seen on Comanche Drive east of Bakersfield, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX photo/ John Raguindin)

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) — One man was killed and another was arrested on suspicion of drunk driving in a head-on crash early Thursday.

The pickup and SUV crashed around 4:15 a.m. on Comanche Drive just north of Breckenridge Road. Comanche Drive was closed for four hours after the crash.

Taylor John Embree, 29, of Lake Isabella, was killed, according to the Kern County coroner's office. His "vehicle was torn into two pieces" from the impact, according to the California Highway Patrol.

The other driver, 35-year-old Gustavo De La Cruz, of Bakersfield, was found to be intoxicated and driving northbound in the southbound lanes at a "high rate or speed," the CHP said. He suffered a broken leg.

De La Cruz has two prior convictions for driving under the influence, one in 2007 and another last year. He pleaded no contest both times to misdemeanor charges of DUI and was sentenced to a total of 47 days in jail.

De La Cruz also has convictions for violating a court order to prevent domestic violence, hit-and-run resulting in property damage, and driving on a suspended license, according to Kern County court records.