DUI driver at Oceano Dunes allegedly goes airborne, kills other rider

A man who was allegedly operating an off-road vehicle while intoxicated went airborne at the Oceano Dunes last weekend and struck another rider in the helmet, killing him, according to California state parks.

At about 7:25 p.m. on Saturday, Oscar Renteria Corchado, 34, was driving a recreational off-highway vehicle (ROV) in an area of the park known as Sand Highway 12, which is located on an approximately 35-foot dune. Corchado was traveling northbound at a speed of about 20 to 30 mph, heading up the face of the dune.

Corchado’s vehicle went airborne at the top of the dune and struck the helmet of Shawn Josef Imlig, 37, according to state parks.

Rangers and lifeguards arrived at the scene and found Imlig, who was not breathing and did not have a pulse. San Luis Ambulance arrived at the scene at about 7:47 p.m., and medics pronounced Imlig dead.

At the time of the crash, Imlig was traveling southbound in an ATV at speeds of about 10 to 15 mph. Imlig’s ATV was heading toward the dune slip-face, an area where the angle drops steeply and slopes downward. 

State park rangers conducted an investigation at the scene and arrested Corchado for DUI causing injury and vehicular manslaughter. The primary collision factors were alcohol use and unsafe speeds, according to state parks.

Both Imlig and Corchado were wearing helmets, and both of their vehicles were equipped with a whip and flag. 

The fatal crash marked the fourth death at the Oceano Dunes this year.