A Hanford man was uninjured when the big rig he was driving collided with a wrong-way driver on Highway 99 in Merced early this morning, the California Highway Patrol said.
Marvin Oliveira, 61, was driving the 2007 Peterbuilt north at 2:14 a.m. when the collision occurred. The CHP said Leonardo Daniel Garcia-Pineda, 26, of Merced was southbound in the northbound lanes in a Cadillac and crashed into the big rig head-on. The big rig burst into flames and Oliveira was able to jump to safety. Garcia-Pineda suffered major injuries and was taken to a hospital. His passenger, Luis Cardenas, 19, of Merced suffered minor injuries.
The CHP said Garcia-Pineda was arrested for felony charges of driving under the influence. Both lanes of northbound 99 were closed from 2:14 a.m. to 5:56 a.m.