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Two driving under the influence collisions leave one man dead
marissa anguiano
Marissa Anguiano

Two related collisions on Highway 99 in and near Delhi resulted in the death of one man and injured several other individuals early Sunday.

The California Highway Patrol suspects both collisions were caused by drunk drivers.

The first collision was reported at 12:25 a.m. on Sunday and involved two vehicles.

Marissa Anguiano, 21, of Delhi was driving a 2008 Acura TSX on southbound Highway 99, near the Shanks Road offramp. The CHP stated she was traveling at an estimated speed of 80 to 90 miles per hour when she hit the back of a 2005 Toyota Tacoma, driven by Sara Coffelt, 34, of Visalia.

The collision sent the Toyota careening off the highway, through the center median, before coming to a stop in a northbound lane of Highway 99.

Coffelt sustained minor injuries and was taken to a hospital in Modesto.

Anguiano was treated at Mercy Medical Center for minor injuries. The CHP investigators determined she was under the influence and took her into custody on a felony charge of drunk driving causing injuries and misdemeanor driving on a suspended license.

About 25 minutes later, crews were in the process of cleaning up the collision in the northbound lane of Highway 99 when the second collision happened.

Traffic was slowing down because of the first collision when a 2008 Chevrolet Silverado slammed into the back of a 2014 Nissan Versa. The force of the impact pushed the Versa into a 2012 Infinity, which in turn hit the back of a 2011 Toyota Prius.

The driver of the Nissan Versa sustained fatal injuries and was pronounced deceased at the scene. He was identified as Gary Knoll, 75, of Modesto.

Six people in the Infinity and the Prius sustained minor injuries and were treated at Modesto hospitals. All six were from Rancho Cordova and ranged in age from 15 to 44 years.

The driver of the Chevrolet ran from the scene of the collision. A short time after the collision, law enforcement received a report from Josue Orlando Cruz, 27, of Livingston that his Chevrolet Silverado had been stolen.

When CHP investigators went to speak with Cruz, they found that he had injuries that were consistent with having been in an auto wreck. They also determined that he was under the influence.

Cruz was arrested on suspicion of felony vehicular manslaughter, drunk driving causing death and/or injuries, hit and run causing death and/or injuries and filing a false police report.

Both Anguiano and Cruz were booked into Merced County Jail.