A 23-year-old Atwater man is suspected of being intoxicated when he allegedly crashed into a car late Wednesday, killing a 46-year-old man and injuring the man’s son, police said.
Rigoberto Cisneros allegedly was driving a silver 2013 Chevrolet Impala that collided with a blue 2007 Nissan Versa near Redwood Avenue and Linden Street in Atwater about 10:15 p.m. Wednesday, Atwater police Lt. Samuel Joseph said.
Officers and firefighters who arrived on the scene found the Nissan’s driver and passenger unresponsive. Efforts to revive the driver with CPR were unsuccessful and he was pronounced dead at the scene, Joseph said.
The Merced County Coroner’s Office identified the deceased as Augustin Peña of Atwater. Peña’s teenage son was transported by ambulance to Mercy Medical Center in Merced and was expected to recover, Joseph said.
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Police say Cisneros fled the scene of the crash. Officers linked Cisneros to the collision based on a statement from the man’s girlfriend, who lived nearby and told officers that she and Cisneros had an argument a short time before the crash.
Officers found Cisneros at his home, where he was washing blood off of his face.
Cisneros claimed he had been assaulted and denied involvement in the crash, police said. Officers said Cisneros showed obvious signs of intoxication and was taken into custody. Results from a toxicology test for his blood alcohol level were not yet available Thursday afternoon.
Cisneros was transported to a Modesto hospital for treatment of serious internal injuries. He was scheduled to be booked into jail after he is released from the hospital, where he was being monitored by an officer, Joseph said.
Cisneros has served time in Merced County jail on multiple occasions since 2012 for violating probation and gun charges, booking records show.
The investigation into the crash is ongoing.