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Arrest made in deadly crash in Merced County. Driver was DUI, speeding, fled the scene, cops say

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Alcohol-impaired driving fatalities increased in California in 2016, according to an Office of Traffic Safety report.
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Alcohol-impaired driving fatalities increased in California in 2016, according to an Office of Traffic Safety report.

The driver police believe was responsible for Sunday’s deadly crash in Los Banos was under the influence of alcohol and speeding at more than 100 mph at the time of the collision, police said Monday.

One person was killed and four others were injured in the crash Sunday morning. The driver believed responsible for the crash fled the scene, police said.

Detectives on Monday identified the suspected driver as 21-year-old Ivan Andrade. He was arrested Monday at his Los Banos home.

According to investigators, Andrade was driving a white Dodger Challenger east on Pacheco Boulevard at more than 100 mph when the vehicle broadsided a white Nissan Pathfinder, which was traveling west on Pacheco and making a left-hand turn into the Chevron parking lot near the intersection of 10th Street. The Pathfinder was split into two pieces.

The driver of the Pathfinder was wearing his seat belt, but was ejected from the vehicle and remained hospitalized Monday. Two other passengers were transported to Modesto-area hospitals with major injuries. The third occupant of the Pathfinder was pronounced dead at the scene.

Andrade fled the scene, leaving the passenger in his Challenger pinned in the vehicle, police said. Officers found the passenger trapped in the car.

As the officers tried to remove the passenger, the Challenger caught fire, but the flames were quickly extinguished. The passenger was transported to a Modesto area hospital with serious injuries.

The accident took place at 3:44 a.m. The scene took several hours to process and eastbound on Pacheco Boulevard, the stretch of Highway 152 in Los Banos, remained closed to traffic until 10 a.m. on Sunday.

Andrade was arrested on suspicion of vehicular manslaughter and gross negligence and hit and run involving injury or death. Alcohol is also believed to be a factor in the collision and additional charges are anticipated.

The collision remains under investigation as detectives are reviewing video surveillance and completing interviews.

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