A Patterson man driving the wrong way on Interstate 5 in Merced County was responsible for a crash late Wednesday that killed two Bakersfield residents, according to the California Highway Patrol.
The three-vehicle collision occurred at 11:30 p.m. Humberto Tovar, 34, was driving north in the southbound lanes north of Henry Miller Avenue in the Los Banos area. He was in a 2008 Nissan in the No. 1 lane (the fast lane) when he struck a 2018 Toyota coming south in the same lane.
The Toyota ended up stopped in the No. 2 lane, where it then was struck by a southbound 2016 Freightliner truck driven by Wilmington resident Julio Gamboa, 44.
The 26-year-old male driver of the Toyota and his 36-year-old female passenger were killed in the crash. Both Bakersfield residents were not wearing safety belts, the CHP reported. Their names were withheld pending notification of their families.
Gamboa reported no injuries.
Tovar was taken to Doctors Medical Center in Modesto with major injuries. Alcohol is believed to be a factor in the crash, the CHP says, and Tovar faces charges including DUI.