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Drinking suspected in Calif. crash

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By The Associated Press
Sunday, May 26, 2013, 8:12 p.m.

SAN FRANCISCO — A 36-year-old woman is dead, her husband hospitalized in critical condition and nine other people were hospitalized after a crash early Sunday on a San Francisco Bay Area highway involving a car driven by a man who police said had been drinking and a party bus.

In the 2 a.m. crash, a Honda coupe driven by Raul Padilla, 43, appears to have slammed into the center divider on Highway 101, then came to a stop facing oncoming traffic, California Highway Patrol Officer Art Montiel said.

After the Honda stopped, the front end of a party bus, with 18 people on board, hit the disabled car. Two other cars were involved in the collision.

“We're still trying to figure out who came into contact with what,” Montiel said.

The woman killed in the crash was a passenger in the Honda and was married to the driver. Her name has not been released while officials try to contact family members.

Padilla was hospitalized in critical condition. He was wearing his seat belt, but his wife was not, according to the CHP.

Padilla and his wife had “consumed alcohol” before the crash, but toxicology tests would have to be conducted to determine if he had been driving under the influence of alcohol at the time of the crash, Montiel said.

“If it is determined he was under the influence, he could face felony DUI charges and manslaughter charges,” Montiel said.

Most of the party bus passengers suffered minor to moderate injuries.

The bus was equipped with seat belts.

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