IMPERIAL COUNTY – On November 20 at approximately 5:53 pm, Joseph Zhou, a 24-year-old male out of San Marcos, Calif., was driving a 2022 Toyota Tacoma westbound on Interstate 8 west of Dunaway Road. A 20-year-old female out of Rahway, NJ was driving a 2020 Kia Forte eastbound on Interstate 8 west of Dunaway Road, according to a California Highway Patrol press release.

For reasons still under investigation, Zhou failed to maintain the Toyota within its lane of travel, entered the center median and traveled into the eastbound lanes of Interstate 8. Subsequently, the Toyota collided head on with the Kia.

As a result of the crash, the 20-year-old female suffered fatal injuries and was pronounced dead at the crash scene, per the release. The Imperial County Coroner’s Office was notified, responded to the scene and took possession of the deceased female whose name will be released through their office pending family notification. Joseph Zhou sustained major injuries and was transported to Desert Regional Medical Center via Mercy Air.

Joseph Zhou was placed under arrest for 23153(a) felony DUI causing injury or death and a 191.5(a), gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, per the release.

The identity of the deceased will only be released through the medical examiner’s office once family notification has been made.

All parties were wearing their seatbelts at the time of the crash. Per the CHP release, the crash remains under investigation.

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