The alleged drunken driver in the fiery crash east of Selma that killed two people died Sunday morning.
The Fresno County Sheriff’s Office said Lewis Burris, 75, died at Community Regional Medical Center in Fresno as a result of the injuries he suffered in the crash Dec. 14 at Academy and Rose avenues.
Two Parlier men, 30-year-old driver Tony Reyes and his passenger Greg Cantu, 36, died in the crash.
Burris was to be transported to the Fresno County Jail after his hospital stay. Fresno County court records show that he had been charged with two previous DUI offenses and was convicted once, in 1996.
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The California Highway Patrol said Burris was driving a Ford F-250 pickup south on Academy when he failed to stop at Rose and T-boned an eastbound Ford F-150 carrying Reyes and Cantu. A Chevrolet Traverse was stopped north on Academy at the intersection with Rose. The intersection has a two-way stop on Academy while traffic on Rose does not stop.
The F-150 flipped once, then caught on fire. Burris’ truck also hit the Traverse, causing minor injuries to the driver.
December typically sees an increase in alcohol-related crashes. The Avoid the 21 DUI Task Force says California had 98 deaths and 1,852 injured in collisions involving alcohol in December 2013, for instance.
Because of that, the California Office of Traffic Safety gives grants for increased holiday DUI enforcement. Law enforcement in Fresno and Madera counties are running their 17-day winter drunken driving campaign through Jan. 3.
Those caught drinking and driving could face jail time, fines, loss of driver’s license, towing fees and other DUI fees that total more than $10,000 on average.