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Woman arrested after wreck

ATWATER -- A woman whose van overturned several times on Highway 99 was not injured in the Wednesday morning accident but was arrested on charges of kicking a California Highway Patrol officer and clawing another officer.

Diane McMurry, 38, of Merced, and her two passengers were not hurt in the 6:50 a.m. accident on southbound lanes of the highway just north of Westside Boulevard. Officer Luis Lara, CHP spokesman, said McMurry allegedly kicked officer Michael Kolodziej on the right hand and dug her nails into officer Christina Wills' right arm, causing several lacerations.

McMurry was booked into Merced County Jail on charges of battery against a police officer and resisting arrest by using force or violence.

McMurry was southbound on Highway 99 at about 70 mph when her van drifted into the center median. She overcorrected to the right, causing her vehicle to travel across the southbound lanes onto the right shoulder.

McMurry's 1998 Windstar collided with a dirt embankment and overturned several times. Her van came to rest on the Union Pacific Railroad tracks and all trains were safely stopped.

McMurry began to interfere with the tow truck driver's recovery process and resisted Kolodziej's attempts to arrest her, Lara said. Drunken driving is not a factor in the incident, which remains under investigation, Lara said.

Associate Editor Doane Yawger can be reached at (209) 385-2485 or dyawger@mercedsun-star.com.

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