YOLO COUNTY (CBS13) – The man driving a truck that crashed head-on into a United Cerebral Palsy van earlier this month, resulting in three deaths, was under the influence and texting while driving, the California Highway Patrol said Friday.

Jeffrey Richard Rivas, 52, of Woodland was driving a Ford F-250 on County Round 102 just south of County Road 27 in Yolo County on July 11 when witnesses say he drifted into the northbound lane and collided with the transport van.

Rivas died at the scene, as did Sara Johnson, 35, from Davis, who was a support worker riding in the UCP van. Another passenger, Laura Sue Weiderholt, 48, of Woodland was transported to an area hospital but died there.

The van’s driver Luz Torres, 35, of Sacramento was treated at UC Davis Medical Center for multiple injuries. All of the other van passengers also had to be hospitalized.

Rivas’ cause of death was determined to be blunt force trauma from the traffic collision, but toxicology results showed he also had lethal levels of methamphetamine in his blood, the CHP said. An investigation as to why he drifted into the van’s lane indicated he was texting while driving.


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