Santa Maria man identified as person killed in fiery South County crash

The California Highway Patrol has identified Mario Pablo Flores De Jesus, 57, of Santa Maria, as the man who died Sunday in a fiery crash alongside Highway 101 near Laetitia Winery in rural Arroyo Grande.

Shortly after 3 p.m., De Jesus was driving northbound on Highway 101 when he veered off the highway near El Campo Road. De Jesus’s pickup truck rolled over before crashing into an oak tree, according to the CHP.

The truck then burst into flames and ignited a brush fire that burned alongside the highway. Responders pronounced De Jesus dead at the scene.

CHP officials have yet to determine the cause of the crash. Witnesses said De Jesus was driving at a high rate of speed and passing vehicles prior to losing control of his truck.

It is unclear whether drugs or alcohol were a factor in the crash.