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Orange County, California — April 24, 2012

Police say a passenger died and two other people were hurt Tuesday during a crash in the Orange area.

According to officers with the Orange Police Department, an unidentified man was behind the wheel of a Toyota Highlander sport-utility vehicle as it traveled east along Lincoln Avenue. As the SUV approached Tustin Street, around 9:55 p.m., the driver apparently crossed into oncoming traffic.

The Highlander made head-to-head contact with a Hona Civic, operated by an unidentified female. The driver of the SUV suffered minor injuries and was hospitalized.

Paramedics transported the Civic’s driver to a nearby hospital for treatment. A passenger in the Civic, Charles Bayes, 49, suffered fatal injuries and died on scene.

The incident remains under investigation. Witnesses have been asked to call (714) 744-7460 with any additional information.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that the number of fatalities along America’s roadways declined in 2010 for the fifth-straight year. The total number of highway deaths last year was 32,788, down 3 percent over 2009.

UPDATE: The driver of the Highland has been identified as 27-year-old Anaheim resident Lloyd Mardel Cotton Jr. He suffered minor injuries and is under suspicion of driving under the influence and gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated.

If you would like an official copy of the police report, request a copy with this form.

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