Law enforcement officials say he was a transient. Court records show he had a criminal history.
But to the people who crossed his twisted path as he drove the wrong way down Highway 99 on Thursday morning, Richard Abston was a wild man who laughed as he aimed his pick-up truck at cars in his way.
Abston, 53, died Thursday morning after a chaotic struggle with law enforcement on the side of the highway. Abston’s cause of death won’t be released until a toxicology report is completed, said Sheriff’s Department spokesman Deputy Tom MacKenzie. The toxicology results, expected in three or four weeks, will tell officials whether Abston had drugs or alcohol in his system.
Read Saturday's Merced Sun-Star for the full story.