Police

Teen charged with DUI, multiple felonies in deadly Citrus Heights collision

Christina Diaz, Citrus Heights, fatal, collision
Christina Diaz, 19, is charged with multiple felonies after allegedly found to be under the influence of marijuana during a fatal collision in Citrus Heights, Tuesday. // Image credit: CHPD

Sentinel staff report–
Citrus Heights police said a fatal collision that closed down Greenback Lane Tuesday night was caused by a 19-year-old woman who was allegedly under the influence of marijuana.

In a news release issued Wednesday evening, police said the teen, Christina Diaz, was traveling westbound on Greenback Lane around 6:30 p.m. Tuesday when she “intentionally collided” with a van travelling the same direction. She then lost control of her 2004 Toyota Camry, crossed a center median and collided with a Mercedes sedan that was traveling the opposite direction, resulting in the death of the sedan’s adult male driver.

Police said Diaz then tried to flee the scene, but was apprehended nearby.

The driver and sole occupant of the Mercedes was found unresponsive in his vehicle, police said. Lifesaving efforts were performed, but he was pronounced deceased at the scene. Several occupants of the van involved also sustained minor injuries.

The driver of the Mercedes was later identified by the Sacramento County Coroner’s Office as 45-year-old Andrey Tagintsev, of Citrus Heights.

Inmate records indicate Diaz was booked into the Sacramento County Main Jail early Wednesday morning and is charged with four felonies, including gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, hit-and-run with death or injury, and DUI causing injury. She is also charged with “assault by means of force likely to produce gross bodily injury,” likely relating to her collision with the van which police believe was intentional.

Her bail has been set at $395,000.

The collision is still under investigation by CHPD’s Traffic Unit. Anyone who witnessed the collision or who has any video or pictures related to the collision is asked to call (916) 727-5818, and leave contact information and a brief description of the footage available.

In Wednesday’s news release, Police Chief Ron Lawrence said driving under the influence of marijuana is still illegal in California, and police advise utilizing designated drivers or taking advantage of ride sharing services.

“This tragedy is an unfortunate reminder of the dangers of drugged driving,” said Lawrence. “Our sincere condolences to the family of the deceased.”

See latest local arrests in our Citrus Heights Arrest Log