The victim of a fatal DUI crash in Sonora late Thursday has been identified as Ella Hampton-Rauch, who has an address is Groveland, the California Highway Patrol reported.
A friend of the woman said she lived in Salinas and "was going to her cabin that she’d been working on and hoping to retire to soon."
Rhiann Teal said Hampton-Rauch was a friend and co-worker, a nurse at a Santa Cruz hospital for the mentally ill. "She had a heart of gold. She would stop and feed homeless people. She would buy them shoes, clothing, and food. She loved to sing,'" Teal wrote in an email. "Our hospital is devastated."
The CHP initially reported that the crash victim was male. Hampton-Rauch has a daughter who is mentally ill, Teal said, and "we received a call the following day from her daughter's case manager that she had been in a car accident, but no one knew the details. ...
"We had all been searching the Internet, calling hospitals, calling police departments. Finally we realized that this was all misreported and that she was listed as a male from there."
The other driver in the crash on Highway 108, 22-year-old Edgar Albert Santana of Winton, faces felony charges of DUI and gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated.
At about 11:50 p.m. Thursday, Santana was westbound, following another car. He crossed the highway's solid double yellow lines to pass the car and drove directly into the path of Hampton-Rauch's pickup truck.
She was taken to Adventist Health Sonora, where she later died.
Santana suffered major injuries and was taken to Doctors Medical Center in Modesto. He was released Sunday and booked into the Tuolumne County Jail, said CHP Officer Faustino Pulido.
Santana faces felony charges of DUI and gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated.