Woman faces murder charge after fatal DUI on Highway 1

in Community/Crime

A Half Moon Bay woman is facing charges including second-degree murder in the wake of a collision on Highway 1 near San Gregorio last month that killed a 60-year-old bicyclist and seriously injured the driver and passenger of another car.

Prosecutors say Samantha Mei Hartwell, 31, was driving her Nissan northbound on Highway 1 just south of Stage Road at about 4:20 p.m. June 25 when her vehicle swerved and struck bicyclist Thomas Hampe, “knocking him down an embankment where he died almost immediately.”

Hartwell then reportedly veered into oncoming traffic and struck head-on into a Subaru. Hartwell and the driver and passenger of the Subaru were all airlifted to Stanford Hospital. The driver of the Subaru underwent several surgeries for injuries to her feet, according to prosecutors.

No one saw Hampe being struck by Hartwell’s vehicle, nor was that incident reported to the CHP, the DA’s Office says. His wife called 911 about 6-8 hours later to report her husband missing. He was found deceased down the embankment, prosecutors said.

Hartwell’s blood alcohol level was .17/.18, and she has two drunk driving convictions in 2014 and multiple convictions for driving on a suspended license, according to prosecutors.

Hartwell is next scheduled to appear in court for her arraignment on July 25, for a hearing on her defense motion to set bail and for further arraignment. She remains in custody on no bail status.