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Suspected drunk driving accident claims one life
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One woman was killed and four others injured in a two vehicle collision that sent one vehicle plunging off the southbound Highway 99 embankment at Monte Vista Avenue, just after midnight Sunday.
The driver of the second vehicle, Elder Yupe, 23, of Modesto was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence, according to California Highway Patrol spokesman Officer Eric Parsons.
The woman killed in the wreck was identified as 54-year-old Yolanda Fuentes of Modesto.
According to the CHP, Yupe was driving a 1995 Dodge Neon on southbound Highway 99 in the fast lane at about 85 mph.
Ahead of Yupe in the middle lane was a 2000 Toyota 4Runner, driven by Fuentes. Fuentes was traveling at about 65 mph and had three passengers in her vehicle, Parsons said.
As the Neon neared the 4Runner, the Neon drifted slightly into the middle lane and struck the back end of the 4Runner, Parsons said.
The impact caused Fuentes to lose control of the vehicle and it skidded across the freeway and down the embankment at Monte Vista Avenue. The vehicle rolled several times before coming to a stop. Fuentes sustained fatal injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene.
One passenger in the 4Runner was not wearing a seat belt and was ejected during the rollover, Parsons said. He sustained major injuries and was taken by helicopter to a local hospital, according to the Turlock Fire Department, which responded to the accident scene.
The other two passengers had moderate injuries and were transported to local hospitals.
Yupe also was injured in the crash and was taken to Memorial Medical Center. Upon his release, he was arrested and booked into Stanislaus County Jail on charges of felony driving under the influence causing great bodily harm and/or death, and gross vehicular manslaughter.
To contact Sabra Stafford, e-mail or call 634-9141 ext. 2002.