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1 killed in Hwy 70 crash, suspected DUI driver behind bars

A Chico woman is behind bars after CHP officers say she was driving drunk Thursday and caused a wreck that killed one person on Highway 70 south of Oroville.

Posted: Feb 5, 2021 12:21 PM
Updated: Feb 5, 2021 2:17 PM

HONCUT, Calif. - A Chico woman is behind bars after CHP officers say she was driving drunk Thursday and caused a wreck that killed one person on Highway 70 south of Oroville.

The crash happened around 11:24 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 4, on Highway 70 north of Middle Honcut Road, According to Officer Ben Draper, from the CHP Oroville area. It started when the driver of a 2018 Volvo SUV was driving north on the highway behind an Acura model car.

The driver of the Volvo, identified as Nicole Schalles, 35, of Chico attempted to pass the Acura; in the process, the right front of Schalles' SUV collided with the back part of the Acura, according to Draper.

The crash caused Schalles to go in a north-easterly direction off the roadway into a perimeter fence.

The Acura lost control and spun in a counterclockwise direction and came to rest on southbound Highway 70. That's when a Ford Focus was traveling south and collided with the rear of the Acura, killing the Acura driver.

Officers arrested Schalles on suspicion of DUI and manslaughter. The driver of the Ford Focus received minor injuries.

Action News Now is working to find out the identity of the person killed in the Acura model car.

Draper did not tell Action News Now if the deceased was a male or female. Every vehicle involved had only one person inside.

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