Writer Roger Avary, seen here in Los Angeles in November, has been arrested after a car crash in which one of his passengers died. ((Frederick Brown/Getty Images))

Oscar-winning Pulp Fiction writer Roger Avary has been arrested on suspicion of manslaughter and driving under the influence after a car crash in California that killed a man and injured Avary's wife, authorities said.

Avary, 42, was the driver in the single-car collision shortly after midnight Sunday in Ojai, said Capt. Ross Bonfiglio of the Ventura County sheriff's department.

Killed in the accident was Andreas Zini, 34, a resident of Italy who was apparently visiting the couple. Firefighters cut Zini from the car with Jaws of Life, and he died several hours later at Ventura County Medical Center.

Avary's wife Gretchen, 40, was ejected from the car and found in the road by deputies, Bonfiglio said. She was in hospital in stable condition.

Avary was booked but later released on $50,000 US bail, Bonfiglio said. He did not know whether Avary has hired an attorney. 

Avary and Quentin Tarantino won an Academy Award for writing Tarantino's Pulp Fiction. Avary was also a co-writer of the recent epic Beowulf.

He and his wife live in Ojai, a popular artists' colony and tourist destination about 23 kilometres north of Ventura.