Solo vehicle crash kills Merced County passenger, injures two more. CHP makes arrest

Merced Sun-Star file photo.
Merced Sun-Star file photo. tmiller@mercedsunstar.com

A 20-year old Winton man was killed in a Merced County DUI car crash Saturday morning, according to the California Highway Patrol.

Officers responded to a call at 6:54 a.m. of the crash on Highway 140 just west of Sultana Drive and arrived on the scene to find a 2006 Ford Focus that had rolled over on the shoulder of the road. The car was headed eastbound.

“The vehicle was traveling at an unknown high rate of speed,” said CHP public information officer Eric Zuniga. “For an unknown reason the driver lost control of the vehicle. The vehicle rolled over four or five times.”

Officers arrived to find the driver, 19-year-old Tristan Shelton of Merced, walking away from the accident, according to Zuniga.

There were three other passengers in the vehicle, including the Winton man who was found dead by first-responders. The dead man was not immediately identified.

The other passengers were Guillermo Cortez, 18, of Atwater and Dezhia Lane, 19, of Los Banos. Each received medical attention for minor injuries, according to Zuniga.

Shelton was arrested and taken to Mercy Medical Center to receive medical clearance, then will be booked into the Merced County Jail on charges of felony DUI and felony hit-and-run (since officers found him trying to leave the scene), according to Zuniga.