Woman killed while running from DUI arrest in Merced, CHP says. Records show a history of DUI

A woman was killed Wednesday night after she ran from a California Highway Patrol officer who stopped her car to investigate whether she was driving under the influence.

The CHP said the incident took place about 8:40 p.m. on Highway 99 north of Franklin Road between Merced and Atwater.

She was identified Thursday by the Merced County Coroner’s Office as 26-year-old Carol Sanchez of Merced.

The CHP said the woman was northbound on 99 when an officer pulled her over for a DUI investigation. Smelling alcohol, the officer radioed for an additional officer and the woman ran across northbound traffic lanes.

The officer pursued her on foot as the woman ran across southbound lanes, then ran back toward northbound lanes, where she was struck by a Honda driven by Mirelez Alyssa, 22, of Merced. The Honda was then struck by a Honda driven by Xiong Mai, 25, of Merced. Neither driver was injured, but Sanchez died at the scene.

Court records show Sanchez had a history of drunken driving. She previously was arrested and charged with drunken driving in October and again in December of last year. She faced charges of DUI, hit-and-run, and driving with a suspected blood-alcohol content of nearly three times the legal limit, according to court records.

Her driver’s license was revoked in connection with a 2012 DUI conviction. She tried to have her license reinstated in March 2017, but a Merced County judge denied the request.

At her last court appearance Feb. 27, Commissioner Steven Slocum ordered her to “totally abstain from the use of alcohol” and not to drive without a license.

Related stories from Merced Sun-Star