At approximately 4:15 a.m. on Oct. 17, Taylor John Embree, 29, of Lake Isabella, was killed on Comanche Drive when an apparent drunk driver struck his pickup head on. The impact was such that Embree's truck was torn in half.
According to the California Highway Patrol, the driver of the other vehicle, Gustavo De La Cruz of Bakersfield, received a broken leg and was arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol and will be booked into the Kern County Jail pending his release from Kern Medical Center.
Embree was reportedly traveling south on Comanche Drive near Breckenridge Road, when De La Cruz's Ford Explorer, traveling northbound in the southbound lane, struck his Chevrolet Colorado at a high rate of speed. The CHP's collision report states "Due to the level of intoxication of Mr. De La Cruz, he was unable to correct his path of travel and collided head on."
Embree was a long-time Tehachapi resident and graduate of Tehachapi High School who had only recently relocated to Lake Isabella.