A 65-year-old man was arrested after he allegedly killed a man and a woman on northbound Highway 99 north of Chowchilla in his attempt to escape two other hit-and-runs while driving under the influence.
Omar Godinez, a CHP spokesman, said the accident happened shortly before 5 p.m. Friday as the suspect was driving north. The suspect, who lives in Winton, northwest of Merced, crashed into two vehicles while leaving Farnesi’s restaurant in Chowchilla.
The suspect drove his Ford F-350 truck, which was hauling a trailer, onto northbound Highway 99 for about three minutes, Godinez said, before taking the Avenue 27 exit. The suspect was driving at highway speeds when he took the exit, which features a sharp right turn.
Instead of fully exiting the highway, Godinez said, the truck went airborne after driving past the edge of the exit curve. The Ford landed directly atop a vehicle as it was entering the highway.
The two victims inside the vehicle — a 28-year-old man and woman from Merced — died at the scene. Their identities were not relased pending notification of family.
Police arrested the suspect after noticing he was under the influence, Godinez said. The man, however, refused to be tested for alcohol.
The investigation is continuing.