A suspected drunk driver is believed to have caused a fatal Tulare County car accident on Highway 198 on Sept. 29. The 5:20 p.m. incident claimed one passenger’s life and left five others with serious injuries.
The California Highway Patrol (CHP) report details how witnesses noticed the driver of a 2001 Mercedes C200 sedan driving down Highway 198 to the west of Road 248 near Lake Kaweah moments before the crash occurred.
CHP’s report reflects that the 37-year-old Visalia man who’s believed to have been behind the wheel of the Mercedes is alleged to have first struck a sports utility vehicle (SUV) injuring the motorists inside.
Witnesses then watched the man travel into opposing traffic while speeding at 80 miles per hour (mph). He allegedly collided head-on with a 2011 General Motors Company (GMC) Yukon as he attempted to pass a vehicle traveling in front of him in the westbound lane.
The 32-year-old Tulare woman that had driving the GMC at the time suffered moderate injuries in the crash. The 56-year-old female passenger in that vehicle was seriously hurt in the crash. The car’s other two occupants, two young kids, ages four and six were all left with minor injuries.
A 61-year-old female passenger in the man’s Mercedes was killed in the crash. The alleged drunk driver who caused the crash only suffered minor injuries.
All motorists were all transported to Kaweah Delta Medical Center for treatment.
Once at the hospital, the motorist who is alleged to have caused the crash was administered a blood alcohol content (BAC) test. It showed that he had a BAC of .2%. He was placed under arrest and transported to the Tulare County Jail. He was later booked on both drunk driving and murder charges. It’s unclear when his next hearing in court is scheduled for.
Drunk driving crashes are often deadly because motorists who are under the influence of alcohol cannot gauge their speed, have distorted vision and are unable to respond as quickly as they should to different stimuli. If you’ve been struck by a drunk driver, then it’s likely that you’ve been left with debilitating injuries. An attorney can advise you on how to seek compensation for your medic medical costs and other expenses if you’ve been seriously hurt in a crash.