OAKLAND -- A passenger ejected from a Chevrolet Corvette during a suspected drunken driving crash has died, an Alameda County coroner's spokesman said Tuesday.
Nicholas Obenchain, 25, of Alameda, was pronounced dead at Highland Hospital on Monday night. He had apparently been ejected and was found unconscious in front of the wrecked car after the Friday morning crash on eastbound Interstate 580, according to the California Highway Patrol.
The driver, Corey McDonah, 23, of San Leandro, was taken to Highland Hospital with major injuries after the 3 a.m. crash near Park Boulevard. He was driving the 1999 Corvette when he struck a curb and a light pole before the car overturned. He was arrested on suspicion of drunken driving that morning, police said.
Officer Sean Wilkenfeld said McDonah remained hospitalized Tuesday in critical condition. Investigators were trying to determine how fast the Corvette was traveling at the time of the crash.
In April, McDonah was arrested by the CHP for recklessly driving his motorcycle and doing wheelies and other stunts on eastbound I-580. When the crew aboard a CHP plane spotted him traveling between 100 mph and 120 mph just east of the Macarthur Maze, the plane, equipped with a new high-powered camera, followed him down I-580, where officers witnessed McDonah doing high-speed motorcycle stunts.
The airplane followed McDonah to his home, where he parked the bike and went inside. He was later arrested on suspicion of reckless driving but shrugged off the arrest.
"I was just trying to go fast and get some (expletive) wheelies and show off a little bit," he told a TV reporter following the arrest.
Because no one was injured during the April incident, McDonah was charged with a misdemeanor and pleaded no contest. He was fined, put on probation for three years, given 20 days on the sheriff's work program and 40 hours of public service.