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Man booked in deadly crash

Fatality: Passenger killed in single-car collision off Bouquet Canyon Road

Posted: July 24, 2010 9:59 p.m.
Updated: July 25, 2010 4:30 a.m.

A Palmdale man was booked for felony drunk driving and vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence after his vehicle slammed into a tree off Bouquet Canyon Road on Saturday morning, killing his female passenger, officials said Saturday.
The passenger, 26-year-old Marissa Hodges, of Rancho Cucamonga, died at the scene.

The driver, 24-year-old Michael Hemperly Jr., remains in sheriff’s custody, and was also booked for driving under the influence causing great bodily injury, according to a California Highway Patrol report. Hemperly had a blood alcohol content greater than the legal limit, the report said.

Hemperly was driving his 2001 Porsche at an unknown speed along northbound Bouquet Canyon Road just after 2 a.m. Saturday. He lost control of the vehicle for unknown reasons, causing his car to travel and spin eastward until it slammed into a tree, just north of Texas Canyon Road.

Hemperly was transported to Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital for minor injuries, and then booked at the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station.

Hemperly was wearing a seatbelt, but Hodges was not restrained, the report said. Hemperly is being held on $130,000 bail.


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