Head-on crash on Highway 33 injures 3; driver arrested

Three people were taken to hospitals Thursday night after a head-on collision on Highway 33 about a mile north of Gustine.

The collision occurred shortly after 9 p.m. when a suspected drunken driver in a Chevy van crossed the center line and struck a 2005 Toyota Camry driven by a Newman woman with four children as passengers, said officer Mike Panelli of the California Highway Patrol.

Suffering major injuries was 11-year-old Fabian Gonzalez of Turlock, one of the passengers in the Toyota. He was airlifted to the University of California Medical Center in Sacramento. He was in critical but stable condition Friday, a supervising nurse said.

The driver of the Toyota, Maria Silva, 31, was taken to Emanuel Medical Center in Turlock. She was treated and released early Friday. The names of the three other children were not released.

The CHP is recommending charges against the driver of the van, 34-year-old Roman Huerta of Los Banos. Panelli said Huerta was driving south when his van drifted into the path of Silva's northbound vehicle.

After striking the Toyota, the van overturned.

Huerta was airlifted to Memorial Medical Center in Modesto for treatment. He was arrested at the hospital on suspicion of driving while intoxicated and driving without a license, Panelli said. Huerta was listed in good condition Friday.

Bee staff writer Ken Carlson can be reached at kcarlson@modbee.com or 578-2321.