Delhi man arrested in accident that leads to gas leak, evacuations

03/02/2014 9:13 PM

03/02/2014 9:52 PM

A suspected drunken driver crashed a vehicle into a Merced home Sunday, causing a gas leak that forced authorities to evacuate nine homes in the area.

Juan Manuel Rojas, 18, of Delhi, was booked at Merced County Jail on suspicion of drunken driving and driving without a license, the California Highway Patrol said.

CHP officers responded at 3:35 p.m. to the first block of Cone Avenue in Merced after a vehicle crashed into a home, Officer Moises Onsurez said.

“No one was home at the time of the collision and it remains under investigation,” Onsurez said.

No injuries were reported.

Onsurez said the gas leak was contained quickly by a PG&E crew.

However, a portion of Cone Avenue, between Harrison Avenue and Highway 59, remained closed for several hours after the crash before neighbors were allowed to return home, CHP said.

CHP said the American Red Cross was providing shelter to the residents who were displaced Sunday.

Rojas was expected to be released from the county jail late Sunday with an order to appear in Merced Superior Court, authorities said.

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