DUI suspected after wrong-way driver causes massive Highway 99 crash near Atwater, CHP says

Andrew Kuhn/akuhn@mercedsun-star.com
·1 min read

A wrong way driver was arrested on suspicion of DUI early Monday after California Highway Patrol officers say his actions led to a multiple-vehicle collision on Highway 99 near Atwater.

CHP responded to the scene at about 1 a.m., according to CHP Officer Eric Zuniga and the suspect was identified as Angel Manzo, 47, of Riverbank.

Zuniga said Manzo was driving a 2014 Mercedes sedan southbound in the northbound lanes of Highway 99 from Westside Boulevard.

As he was approached Atwater Boulevard while traveling the wrong direction in the No. 1 lane, he noticed vehicles driving toward him and tried to avoid them. After Manzo’s vehicle went into an opening within a construction zone, he lost control of the vehicle and struck the center median.

Zuniga said four drivers northbound saw the suspect’s car approaching took evasive action. That resulted in a three-vehicle chain reaction collision. One of those drivers complained of pain, but was not taken to the hospital. No other injuries were reported.

Officers on scene noticed the suspect displayed objective sings of impairment. A field sobriety test was conducted and Manzo was arrested and booked into Merced County Jail on suspicion of several charges.

Those included felony driving under the influence alcohol/drugs causing bodily injury, DUI .08 alcohol causing bodily injury, misdemeanor driving wrong way on divided highway and driving with license suspended or revoked for DUI, according to jail records.

According to Zuniga, the collision remains under investigation.