Studies indicate that driving while intoxicated and driving the wrong way are related. The National Transportation Safety Board found that 78% of all wrong way accidents occurred between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m. and that a combination of being tired, intoxication, and darkness contributed to the majority of wrong-way collisions. The same agency found that more than half and as many as three-quarters of wrong-way collisions are caused by a driver who was intoxicated. Further, when blood-alcohol levels were available, these drivers had an average of .15%, which is almost twice the legal limit. The Modesto Bee reports on a wrong way collision that claimed two lives.
A crash that occurred late on Wednesday, June 13th claimed the lives of two Bakersfield residents.
31-year-old Humberto Tovar was driving north in the southbound lanes of Highway 5 in Merced County. Just north of Henry Miller Avenue in Los Banos, Tovar was driving his Nissan in the fast lane when he hit a Toyota head-on.
The Toyota ended up in the next lane, where it was then hit by a Freightliner truck driven by 44-year-old Julio Gamboa.
The driver of the Toyota, who was 26, and his 36-year-old passenger were both killed at the scene. Neither of them were wearing seatbelts and their names were withheld pending notification of next of kin.
Tovar was taken to Doctor’s Medical Center with major injuries. Authorities believe that alcohol was a factor in the crash. He is facing multiple charges, one of which will be DUI.