MERCED -- A 48-year-old woman is dead after her car was struck early Thursday morning by a wrong-way driver in the northbound lane of Highway 99 near Delhi, the California Highway Patrol reported.
A 19-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of being under the influence and causing the crash, according to CHP spokesman Shane Ferriera.
The victim has been identified as Sandra Isbell, an Atwater resident, according to the Stanislaus County coroner's office.
The crash was reported about 1:15 a.m. near Bradbury Road.
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Atwater resident Khushdeep Gill was driving a 1999 Honda Accord south in the northbound lane of the highway at about 65 to 75 mph.
Isbell was driving a 2003 Honda Civic north in the slow lane of the highway. The cars collided head-on and came to rest on the right shoulder of the highway, Ferriera said.
The victim was flown to Doctors Medical Center in Modesto, where she died. Gill, who had minor injuries, was taken to Emanuel Medical Center in Turlock. He was later booked at the Merced County Jail on suspicion of felony DUI and vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated.
Gill is not the first person in recent years suspected of causing a DUI crash after driving the wrong way on Highway 99 in Merced County.
On Oct. 20, 2007, Dos Palos resident Aubree Hogue, who was 20 at the time, was driving the wrong way in the northbound lane of Highway 99 near Atwater.
Her car crashed into a 2002 Mitsubishi Lancer carrying four men. The crash killed Tommy Reynolds, 23, and Armando Lule, 19.
Hogue pleaded no contest to gross vehicular manslaughter and felony DUI. She is serving a sentence of 11 years, eight months in prison.
Gill is being held at the jail in lieu of $1 million bail.