Crime

Los Banos DUI suspect rammed into the one car he should have avoided

A Los Banos man was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol after he ran head-on into a parked patrol vehicle, police said.

Noe Gama, a 46-year-old Los Banos resident, was driving a red 2019 Toyota Camry east on East B Street, near Mercey Springs Road, at about 6 p.m. Wednesday when he reportedly crossed the center line in the road and slammed into Los Banos Officer Lyle Kelley’s patrol vehicle, which was parked facing west on the other side of the street, Commander Jason Hedden said in a news release.

Kelley was in the vehicle, which was parked facing west on the other side of the street, Hedden said. Kelley suffered minor injuries.

More officers arrived at the scene and smelled alcohol on Gama’s breath, Hedden said.

California Highway Patrol Los Banos officers arrived at the scene and took over the investigation, a standard practice in Los Banos collisions involving city police officers, unless no CHP investigators are available, Hedden said.

Gama failed sobriety tests at the scene and a Breathalyzer test was taken, CHP Los Banos Officer Shannon Stiers said. The results of the Breathalyzer test weren’t immediately available.

Gama was arrested on suspicion of felony DUI charges and remained in custody Thursday at the Los Banos Police Department Jail with a $200,000 bond.

Vikaas Shanker is an award-winning reporter covering education, crime and courts for the Merced Sun-Star and Los Banos Enterprise. After growing up in Naperville, Illinois and graduating from the University of Kansas, he reported in several Chicago suburbs before moving to Merced County in 2016.
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