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Murder Charges Filed Against Driver Accused in Double-Fatal Crash on Highway 166

A Bakersfield man will face a pair of second-degree murder charges and six other counts in connection with a Labor Day crash that killed two children and injured other people on Highway 166 east of Santa Maria.

Jerald Brandon Holman, 36, is scheduled to be in San Luis Obispo County Superior Court for an arraignment hearing on Friday.

The second-degree murder charges are connected to the deaths of a 4-year-old girl and her 7-year-old brother killed in the crash. Their names have not been released.

Holman was arrested following a head-on collision Monday on Highway 166 east of Spanish Ranch, more than 30 miles east of Highway 101.

The California Highway Patrol said Holman was driving at a high speed when he lost control of the vehicle and crossed into the other lane.

The impact of the collision caused the passenger compartment of Holman’s vehicle to separate from the front section of the vehicle, and the two children were ejected.

The driver and passengers, including young children, in the second vehicle were injured in the crash, along with another passenger in Holman’s vehicle.

Prosecutors initially estimated the arraignment hearing might occur as soon as Thursday morning.

Holman is also charged with two felony counts of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated; driving under the influence causing injury; and driving with a blood alcohol level above .08 percent causing injury. 

Additionally, Holman faces great bodily injury enhancements alleged for each of the six people seriously hurt in the crash. 

Holman is also charged with an enhancement that alleges he injured multiple victims.

Remaining charges include a count of felony child endangerment for each of the two children riding in the car Holman was driving, and a misdemeanor count of being an unlicensed driver. 

Holman has been sentenced to state prison in three prior instances, Cunningham said. 

The defendant remains in custody of the San Luis Obispo County Jail with bail set at $110,000

If convicted. Holman faces life in state prison.

The site where the crash occurred is on a segment of Highway 166 that sits within San Luis Obispo County, while other areas are in Santa Barbara County.

Noozhawk North County editor Janene Scully can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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