A Newhall man died and three more Santa Clarita Valley residents were hurt in a rollover crash in a remote area of San Luis Obispo County on Saturday night.
Mirko Malobabich, 31, of Newhall, was killed when his two-door military-style jeep overturned on a private road, near the intersection of Huasna Road and Saucelito Creek Road in rural Arroyo Grande, in an unincorporated part of San Luis Obispo County about 10:20 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 18, according to a California Highway Patrol news release.
Listed in the CHP report as passengers in the 1998 Encore M-151 jeep that crashed were Martinique Rowden, 31, of Newhall; Garrett Fairchild, 30, of Valencia; and Emily White, 22, of Santa Clarita. All three were taken to area hospitals, but their injuries were described as non-life-threatening.
White was airlifted to Marian Regional Medical Center in Santa Maria with an apparent back injury, Fairchild had a minor wrist injury, and Rowden suffered minor injuries to her legs, according to the CHP.
Malobabich and his passengers were driving on a private dirt road at approximately 30 miles per hour when he apparently made an “unsafe turning movement” that caused the jeep to roll onto its side, the news release stated, adding, “The vehicle subsequently overturned and ejected all occupants as the vehicle was overturning.”
Malobabich was pronounced dead at the crash scene by first-responders who determined he “was not using his lap/shoulder seat belt,” the report stated.
Malobabich’s identity was initially withheld by officials pending the notification of his next of kin. The San Luis Obispo County Coroner’s office released his identity on Tuesday.
The CHP continues to investigate the fatal crash, including whether alcohol or drugs may have been involved, and asks anyone with further information about it to contact the San Luis Obispo office at 805-594-8700.