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Tri-Valley native among victims in string of off-roading deaths at Oceano Dunes

Shawn Imlig killed in ATV crash June 22; police say other driver was drunk

A man who grew up in the Tri-Valley died in an all-terrain vehicle (ATV) collision last month at the Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Recreation Area, a state-operated facility near Pismo Beach that has now seen six fatalities in off-road vehicle crashes in the past three months.

Shawn Joseph Imlig, 37, succumbed to injuries he sustained when, while riding an ATV on a dune on the evening of June 22, he was struck in the helmet by a recreational off-highway vehicle (ROV) that went airborne after reaching the top of the dune, according to California State Parks officials. Authorities allege the ROV driver was drunk and speeding at the time of the crash.

Imlig, a resident of Brentwood at the time of his death, was born in Livermore and spent parts of his life living in Pleasanton as well as Livermore. He was an avid and experienced ATV rider, among his other hobbies, and loved spending time at Oceano Dunes, according to an obituary posted by his family on the Weekly's Lasting Memories page.

At the time, the Tri-Valley native became the fourth person to die in a crash at the beachfront state park since April 12.

The 2019 fatality count now stands at six people, after an 18-year-old man from Sacramento was killed at Oceano Dunes on Saturday, according to the San Luis Obispo Tribune. All of the other deaths were solo-vehicle crashes.

The Tribune reported the California Coastal Commission debated the future of off-road vehicle activities at Oceano Dunes for public health and environmental reasons last week, deciding to keep it open for the year but urging State Parks to contemplate changes by next year after hearing from advocates on both sides of the debate.

Oceano Dunes was a favorite recreational spot for Imlig, who enjoyed outdoor activities, riding ATVs, and working on vehicles and equipment, according to his family.

Imlig was riding an ATV southbound at 10-15 mph near a 35-foot dune on Oceano Dunes' Sand Highway 12 just before 7:30 p.m. June 22 when a northbound ROV traveling 20-30 mph got airborne at the top of the dune, according to State Parks.

The ROV crashed side-by-side against Imlig's ATV and hit him directly in the helmet, State Parks said. Imlig was pronounced dead at the scene within minutes of the collision.

State Parks rangers conducted a DUI investigation at the scene and determined the driver of the ROV -- identified as Oscar Renteria Corchado, 34, of Yuba City -- was under the influence of alcohol and had been speeding.

Corchado was placed under arrest on suspicion of vehicular manslaughter and DUI causing serious injury. He has since been released from custody while local prosecutors review the case and decide whether to file charges.

Eric Dobroth, assistant district attorney with the San Luis Obispo County DA's Office, told the Weekly on Monday that prosecutors were still awaiting final investigative details from State Parks officials, but based on the initial police report, he said, "I'm confident we'll file charges ... just trying to fine-tune the particulars."

Dobroth said a filing decision should be confirmed in the next several weeks.

A celebration of life for Imlig has been scheduled for 1-4 p.m. on Aug. 4 at the Pleasanton Senior Center at 5353 Sunol Blvd.

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