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Alleged DUI Driver Plows CHP Checkpoint

082614DJ CHP Mendez DUI
DJ Becker/
Officers arrest ​21-year-old Edlin Mendez of Madera on suspicion of DUI, Saturday night about 10 pm. Mendez allegedly attempted to drive through the check point with out stopping, nearly striking officers. Mendez insisted she hadn’t been drinking, was combative and more than twice the legal limit according to officers.
By DJ Becker/     August 23, 2014
A DUI and license check point held by The California Highway Patrol on Road 26 screened over 400 vehicles and nearly turned tragic as a driver alleged to be under the influence of alcohol failed to stop and attempted to drive through the check point.
Officers arrested 21-year-old Edlin Mendez of Madera on suspicion of DUI, Saturday night about 10 pm.
Sgt. Michael Donnelly said the female driver drove fast and erratically around the many large orange traffic cones and the other cars stopped in the lanes, just missing a stop sign, officers and a CHP car parked in the turn lane.
“Fortunately, we prepare for this sort of thing. We saw the car coming … too fast around the cones and were able to get out of the way. But she just narrowly missed hitting officers,” Donnelly said.
Donnelly said Mendez was also combative, more than twice the legal limit and continually cursed at officers during the sobriety screening and arrest.
082614DJ CHP Ck pt Rd 26
Sgt. Michael Donnelly of The California Highway Patrol checks the learners permit of a new teen driver, as the teen’s mother looks on, at a drivers license and sobriety check point held Saturday night on Road 26, near Adell Street.
The rest of the check point was routine, he said, with about six drivers found to be driving without licenses, and those vehicles were later released to drivers with licenses.
“We did several field sobriety tests (on other drivers) and stopped one unlicensed driver driving on a traffic warrant for failure to appear (in court) for unlicensed driving. His vehicle was impounded,” Donnelly said.
Madera CHP will be holding fall campaigns to educate drivers about the dangers of distracted driving, he said, and additional DUI and license check points within the Labor Day and up coming holiday periods.
​Madera, California

Crash Kills One on State Route 145

ranchos fatal Aug 17 2014
DJ Becker/
​Madera Ranchos  ​A head on rollover collision, on State Route 145 killed a man in his mid to late 20’s, Sunday about 12:40 pm, ​according to the California Highway Patrol. ​
Authorities identified the fatality as 25-year-old Caleb Ryan Koop, of Fresno.
Four to five other people sustained minor to moderate injures in the high impact crash, and one was airlifted by Lifeflight helicopter to CRMC.
Distracted driving is under investigation as a factor in the fatality. No evidence of alcohol was found at the scene and toxicology reports are pending.
CHP Sgt Lincoln McKenna said Koop was driving solo in a Mitsubishi Mirage sedan westbound in weekend traffic at 55 to 60 mph, two miles west of State Route 41, when he drifted out of his lane and directly into oncoming traffic.
“We have a witness behind him that said he just started to drift over into eastbound lane and collided with a westbound Ford F250 pickup truck pulling a boat. The driver of the pickup truck saw the Mitsubishi in her lane and attempted to move to the south shoulder but she was unable to fully avoid the impact.” McKenna said.
ranchos fatal 2
Officers said the man had no identification on him and may not have been wearing a seat belt.
The left front of the pickup collided with the left front of the Mitsubishi, killing the driver at the scene. The force of the impact bounced the car backward and spun it, but the car remained upright in the roadway, McKenna said.
“The pickup truck went off the roadway and rolled over, injuring a group of girls in their mid 20’s … six, possibly seven girls from Chowchilla, in the truck. Our info is they may have been going Millerton, or another local lake for the day,” McKenna said.
The rollover also took about about 60 feet of barbed wire fence but the boat remained upright.
“Several of the female back passengers were also not wearing seatbelts and sustained cuts, bruises and road rash from contact with the ground, through the broken truck windows … as the truck rolled. One was very fortunate .. she wasn’t further ejected out and killed,” McKenna said.
The collision backed up and detoured area traffic. State Route 145 was closed for about two hours as emergency personnel and CHP worked to treat the injured, and clear and investigate the scene.
Drivers need to buckle up, slow down and focus on the roadway, he said.