A 55-year-old Modesto man was killed Monday afternoon north of Raymond, in Madera County, when he pulled the emergency brake in a car in which he was a passenger and it overturned, slamming into a tree.
The California Highway Patrol said the man was riding in a 1995 Honda Accord driven by his intoxicated 17-year-old nephew northbound on Road 800 north of Road 820 about 4:30 p.m. Also in the car was a 14-year-old boy. Both teens were from Mariposa.
The boy was driving between 35 and 40 mph on the winding road connecting Raymond and Mariposa when his uncle grabbed the brake and the car crashed, the CHP said. The man, whose name has not been released, was dead at the scene.
According to the CHP, there did not appear to be any reason the man pulled the brake, other than as a "prank." Investigators believe he had been drinking as well.
The driver was taken to Madera Community Hospital with moderate injuries, treated and booked into juvenile hall on charges of driving under the influence and causing his uncle's death. The 14-year-old was unhurt.