Woman facing DUI, hit-and-run charges

October 16, 2012 

A 23-year-old woman was arrested late last week in connection with a suspected DUI-related, hit-and-run traffic incident, Merced police Lt. Bimley West reported.

Police say Claudia Elizabeth Jerez was driving about 1 a.m. in the 1100 block of West 4th Street when she hit three parked cars.

According to West, Jerez lost the front passenger tire during the crash. Her vehicle was traveling on three wheels, but she kept driving until her car came to a stop at 18th and G streets.

The undercarriage on the side of the car with only one wheel made gouges in the street, officers said.

Police received calls from residents that a car was stopped in the middle of the road and found Jerez inside when they arrived.

She was taken to John Latorraca Correctional Center and booked on suspicion of DUI as well as hit and run.

Police initially reported that Jerez was an exchange student from Brazil. UC Merced officials clarified she had studied abroad in Brazil and graduated from the school this year.

-- Ramona Giwargis

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