Woman killed in weekend Highway 99 crash identified

A woman killed in a fatal crash on Highway 99 last weekend has been identified as 21-year-old Megan Francesca Rivas, according to the Merced County Coroner's Office.

The crash was reported at 2:40 a.m. Sunday after Rivas had been driving a 2002 Ford Explorer at a high rate of speed on the highway, south of Westside Boulevard. For an unknown reason, the driver veered to the right and traveled off the highway and onto the right shoulder, according to Shane Ferriera, CHP spokesman.

Ferriera said the vehicle traveled down an embankment, collided with a roadway sign and headed back toward the freeway. The vehicle overturned several times and came to a rest, partially blocking the southbound right lane.

The passenger, Atwater resident Russell Green, was taken to Doctors Medical Center in Modesto.

The driver wasn't wearing a seatbelt and suffered fatal injuries as a result of the crash. She wasn't ejected from the car, Ferriera said.

Ferriera said investigators are looking into whether DUI was a factor in the crash

Reporter Victor A. Patton can be reached at (209) 385-2431 or vpatton@mercedsun-star.com