Paso Robles woman dies in ATV crash, driver arrested for DUI

By JOSH FRIEDMAN

An allegedly intoxicated woman drove an ATV off a cliff along Highway 1 near Harmony early Monday morning killing a 34-year-old woman from Paso Robles, according to the CHP.

In addition to the two women, two men — one from Long Beach and one from Germany — were also involved in the crash. The group had been camping at the beach in travel trailers. Another individual who was camping at the beach rented the Can-Am ATV that plunged off the cliff.

At about 3:15 a.m., Maria Arayza, 35, of Los Angeles was driving the ATV southbound away from the campsite when a portion of the ATV went over a steep cliff west of Alapay Way near Harmony. The Can-Am then rolled down the cliff into the water near the shoreline, where the it landed on its wheels facing east.

Arayza and two of the passengers managed to get out of the ATV and climb the seawall back onto land. The three crash survivors notified the individual who rented the ATV. That individual went down to the ATV, extricated the Paso Robles woman and pulled her onto the shore. 

Emergency personnel arrived at the scene, descended the cliff and determined the Paso Robles woman had died.

Arayza suffered moderate injuries and was transported to Sierra Vista Regional Hospital prior to being arrested.

The 42-year-old man from Germany suffered minor injuries and was also taken to Sierra Vista. The Long Beach man, also 42, sustained minor injuries and refused transportation to a hospital.

The woman who died in the crash was 34. Authorities are currently withholding her identity as they notify relatives of her death.

All of the occupants of the ATV were wearing seatbelts, but none were wearing helmets at the time of the crash. 

CHP officers investigated the crash and arrested Arayza on charges of driving under the influence of alcohol causing death and vehicular manslaughter. 

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