TURLOCK, Calif. (KTXL) — A suspected drunken driver was killed in a wrong-way crash on Highway 99 in Turlock Tuesday night, the California Highway Patrol said.
Multiple drivers reported seeing a driver in a red Ford Focus going the wrong direction north of Lander in Turlock, the CHP said.
When officers arrived in the area, the CHP said they found the driver “passed out” behind the wheel, with the stopped car still running and the transmission in drive in the center median. Officers said they saw empty beer bottles on the floorboard of the car.
The CHP said officers attempted to make contact, and the driver “came to” and accelerated forward, hitting a patrol car before driving away.
The driver in the Ford continued northbound in the wrong direction, driving partially in the fast lane, CHP said. The Ford collided head-on with a Chevrolet pickup in the fast lane of southbound Highway 99, north of Fulkerth Road.
The driver in the Ford died, the CHP said. He has since been identified as a 43-year-old San Francisco man.
The driver and passenger in the Chevy had minor to major injuries and were hospitalized.
The CHP suspects the driver of the Ford was under the influence of alcohol.
A portion of southbound Highway 99 was closed for eight hours for the investigation.