Wrong way driver killed in fiery Tuesday night crash, others injured

On Tuesday, June 1st, 2021, at approximately 10:35 pm, the California Highway Patrol began receiving multiple calls reporting a wrong way driver in a red Ford Focus travelling northbound in the southbound lanes of State Route 99 north of Lander Ave.

When officers arrived in the area, they located the vehicle stopped in the center median of southbound State Route 99 facing northbound just under the W Linwood Ave overpass. Officers approached the vehicle and noticed that the engine was running, the headlights were on, the transmission was in drive, and the driver was slumped over behind the wheel. Officers also noticed several empty beer bottles on the floorboard. Officers made several attempts to wake up the driver before he suddenly woke up and accelerated forward, failing to obey the orders of the officers to stop. The vehicle struck the front of the patrol vehicle before continuing to drive northbound in the southbound lanes.

About three minutes later, the vehicle was involved in a fiery head-on crash with gray Chevrolet Silverado just underneath the W Canal Dr overpass. California Highway Patrol officers arrived on scene immediately after the crash happened and requested assistance from the Turlock Police Department. American Medical Response and the Turlock Fire Department’s Battalion 4, Engine 31, Squad 32, Engine 33, and Engine 34 were also dispatched.

When crews arrived on scene, they declared the wrong-way driver deceased after extricating him from the vehicle. He was identified as Marvin Hernandez, 44, of Daly City. The driver of the vehicle Hernandez struck, Luis Torres-Perez, 21, of Delhi, and his passenger, Emily Garcia, 20, of Turlock, both survived the crash and are expected to make it. Torres-Perez was transported to a local area hospital with minor injuries and Garcia was transported to a local area hospital with major injuries.

The southbound lanes of State Route 99 were closed for several hours to conduct the investigation. Alcohol is suspected to be the primary collision factor.

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