Woman arrested for DUI after deadly crash on Palm Drive

Arrest made after woman released from hospital

DESERT HOT SPRINGS, Calif. - We now know the cause of a head-on crash that took the life of 65-year-old Maria Soto Caballero in Desert Hot Springs on Thursday, June 5.

The Desert Hot Springs Police Department said the crash that occurred on Palm Drive at Camino Campañero was caused by a woman who was driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs.

Monica Benavidez was released from the hospital on June 19 and immediately arrested. Police said she's facing charges of homicide and DUI causing great bodily injury.

The crash happened around 5:15 a.m. Authorities said Benavidez was driving southbound on Palm Drive when she swerved into the northbound lanes and collided with Soto's car.

Two other people in Soto's car were severely injured and are still in the hospital, police said in a release. 

Benavidez was booked into the Larry D. Smith Correctional Facility in Banning.

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