Officers arrest Nipomo man on a murder charge

By KAREN VELIE

CHP officers arrested a 31-year-old Nipomo man on suspicion of murder and driving under the influence on Friday afternoon.

Shortly before 3 p.m., Patrick McDuffee was driving a pickup truck southbound on San Luis Bay Drive in rural Avila Beach when he allegedly crossed into the northbound lane. McDuffee crashed head-on into a Mercedes van near Apple Orchard Lane.

The driver of the van, a 72-year-old man from Atascadero, died at the scene. First responders transported the victim’s wife, who was suffering from major injuries, to the hospital.

A CHP investigation determined McDuffee was driving under the influence of drugs. The name of the victim is not being released pending notification of his next of kin.