School District Principal Arrested for DUI Following Fatal Crash in Reedley

KSEE via Yahoo! News reports that the principal of the Dinuba Unified School District was arrested on Sunday following a crash that left two people dead. 

In a statement, the California Highway Patrol said that 43-year-old Blake Benham, who serves as principal at the John F. Kennedy Elementary School in Dinuba, was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol. 

According to investigators, the two-vehicle crash happened at approximately 6:00 p.m. in the area of Road 56 near Avenue 430 when Benham, driving a 2021 Ford F-150, was traveling southbound on Road 56 when he struck a northbound 2022 Nissan Rogue head-on.

The CHP and firefighters responded to the crash site. Two people inside the Nissan, a 55-year-old woman, and her 35-year-old daughter, were declared dead at the scene.

Two other passengers were also in the vehicle at the time of the crash and were taken to the hospital in critical condition. No further information was released about their current condition at the time of the report. 

CHP officers evaluated Benham at the scene and determined that he was intoxicated at the time of the crash. He was placed under arrest and taken to the Tulare County Pre-Trial Facility on the charges of felony DUI and vehicular manslaughter. Benham posted bond shortly after his arraignment.

The Dinuba Unified School District released a statement that Benham has been placed on leave until further notice.

Related Frequently Asked Questions