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Police investigate crashes in Merced, Atwater

Area police arrested one driver and are looking for another after two unrelated crashes in Merced and Atwater.

A suspected drunken driver crashed into a parked car Tuesday night in Merced; the other driver left the scene of an unrelated accident after striking a power pole, law enforcement officials reported.

Micki Archuleta, 51, was arrested on suspicion of drunken driving about 9 p.m., and a 48-year-old woman who was a passenger in the vehicle suffered injuries that were not life-threatening and was taken to an area hospital, the Merced Police Department said in a news release.

Police said Archuleta crashed into a parked pickup in the 900 block of West 22nd Street. He was arrested after apparently failing a series of sobriety tests at the scene, police said.

Investigators are seeking witnesses in the case and ask anyone with information to contact Officer Ryan Rasmussen at (209) 388-7762 or the tip line at (209) 385-4725.

About 90 minutes earlier Tuesday night, an unidentified driver crashed into a utility pole near Atwater and ran from the scene, the California Highway Patrol said.

Officer Moises Onsurez said a white 2003 Ford Expedition crashed into a power pole on Westside Boulevard between Dwight Way and Lincoln Boulevard.

Traffic was shut down for more than two hours while utility crews removed live power lines from the roadway, Onsurez said.

The driver remained at large Wednesday. A description was not available.

The Atwater area crash was the second time a driver left the scene of a wreck in less than 24 hours.

A man identified as Alfredo Ventura left an injured woman in his vehicle after a rollover into a field near the Franklin Drive exit on Highway 99. Ventura, 43, was still on the run Wednesday, authorities said.

The CHP asked anyone with information regarding either driver to contact investigators at (209) 356-2956. Callers may remain anonymous.