A man was arrested on suspicion of drunken driving after he collided with another vehicle and suffered major injuries just after 2 a.m. Thursday.
The CHP said it had received several calls of a 1999 Cadillac Deville traveling southbound on northbound Highway 99 from Buhach Road at about 65 mph.
The driver, Leonardo Daniel Garcia-Pineda, 26, collided with a 2007 Peterbilt tractor-trailer with an attached cattle trailer, according to the CHP. After the accident, the tractor-trailer burst into flames.
The driver of the tractor-trailer, Marvin Oliveira, 61, escaped the burning truck after he kicked out a door, according to the CHP.
Garcia-Pineda, who was suspected of being under the influence of alcohol, was taken to Doctors Medical Center, Modesto. Luis Cardenas, a 19-year-old passenger in the car, suffered minor injuries and was taken to Mercy Medical Center.
Charges will be filed against Garcia-Pineda through the Merced County District Attorney's Office for felony DUI, according to the CHP.
Sun-Star reporter Mike North can be reached at (209) 385-2453 or firstname.lastname@example.org.