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Wrong-way highway collision kills one

A suspected drunk driver died in a head-on collision after driving the wrong way on Highway 99 in Turlock, the California Highway Patrol reported.

The collision happened just moments after the driver was awakened by CHP officers when he was found slumped over the wheel in his car, which was stopped in the center divide of the highway.

The deceased was identified as Marvin Hernandez, 44, of San Francisco.

Shortly after 10 p.m. Tuesday the CHP received several calls of a red 2010 Ford Focus driving northbound in the southbound lanes of Highway 99, near Lander Avenue.

A CHP unit responded to the area and found the Ford stopped in the center divide.

The CHP officers noted the engine was still running, the lights were on, the transmission was in drive, and “the driver was slumped over the steering wheel,” according to the collision report.

Several empty beer bottles were seen on the floorboard of the vehicle, according to the CHP.

The officers made several attempts at awakening the driver, before he finally came to and started driving away.

Hernandez ignored the officers’ orders to stop. Hernandez crashed the Ford into the left side of the CHP patrol vehicle before entering the southbound lanes of the highway, still driving in the wrong direction.

Just north of Fulkerth Road Hernandez crashed the Ford Focus head on into a 2013 Chevy Silverado. The collision happened about three minutes after Hernandez fled from the officers, the CHP reported.

Hernandez was pronounced deceased at the scene.

The driver of the Silverado, Luis G. Torres-Perez, 21, of Delhi had minor injuries and was taken to Doctors Medical Center in Modesto. His passenger, Emily Garcia, 20, of Turlock had sustained major injuries and was rushed to Memorial Medical Center in Modesto.

The collision investigation closed the southbound lanes of Highway 99 for about eight hours.