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May 25, 2022

A month later, CHP probe into Union Road fatality unfinished

The California Highway Patrol’s investigation remains unfinished into a Jan. 13 fatal car wreck on Union Road involving suspected driving under the influence, according to an agency spokesman.

Breanna Stewart, 19 at the time, was accused of driving under the influence and gross vehicular manslaughter after the wreck at Union Road and San Benito Streets. CHP investigators have alleged through field-sobriety tests that the driver’s blood-alcohol concentration was above the legal adult limit of 0.08 percent while there is no legal limit for drivers under age 21.

CHP spokesman Officer Jaime Rios on Tuesday said the case is still “pending review” and the police report has not been submitted to the San Benito County District Attorney’s Office, which would decide on possible charges. Rios said he did not have any information about toxicology results in the case file, he said.

Investigations involving fatalities with possible prosecution can take a month or two to finish, he said.

“We want to make sure it’s ready to be sent to the D.A. before we send it off,” Rios said.

Ryan McFall, a 2006 graduate of San Benito High School who recently moved to Sacramento, died in the single-car accident around 3 a.m. Jan. 13. The car, a 2009 Hyundai Sonata – registered to the driver’s mother Patricia Stewart – was westbound on Union Road when Stewart lost control and crashed into a light pole at the intersection, according to the CHP. The car was severely damaged on the front right side and along the right side.

McFall, 23, died at the scene before responders arrived. Responders initially transported Stewart to Hazel Hawkins Memorial Hospital for treatment. She was booked into the San Benito County Jail and released after posting bail set at $100,000. At the scene, Stewart told investigators she and McFall were coming from Tres Pinos and were on their way home.

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