A Clovis woman who tried to drive away from a suspected DUI crash on Highway 168 that killed a man early Friday morning was pulled over by an off-duty Madera police officer before she could leave.
Officer Jason Green said he first saw a vehicle pulled over on the shoulder near Shaw Avenue, its flashers on. He didn't know that another vehicle had been struck and was down the embankment, the driver fatally injured.
As Green, a Madera Police Department motorcycle officer who was driving home at 3:15 a.m., continued east on Highway 168, he saw debris scattered along the road.
He came up behind an Infiniti G-35 being driven by Perla Vazquez, 24, which had slowed to a crawl.
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"It had smoke coming from it, and I pulled her over," Green said.
When he stopped Vazquez, he found that airbags inside her car had deployed, he said.
"I smelled alcohol on her breath and took her keys," Green said.
Vazquez, he said, had been hugging the fog line on the highway's shoulder and probably was going to exit at Bullard Avenue, a mile north of the accident scene.
He initially thought her car was the only one involved in the accident.
Vazquez then told him she had struck a Jeep Wrangler that had stopped in front of her.
"She would have disappeared into Clovis and who knows if we could have found her," Green said. "I guess it wound up being a pretty good stop."
The CHP booked Vasquez into Fresno County Jail on a murder charge along with DUI, felony hit-and-run and driving on a suspended license, CHP officer Axel Reyes said.
The 54-year-old man in the Jeep, identified as Frank Winslow of Clovis, was wearing his seat belt but was partly thrown from his vehicle.
Winslow was coming home from his job as a truck driver, said deputy coroner Jeff Gentry. He died at the scene.
Vazquez had at least one prior DUI, Reyes said.
According to Fresno County Superior Court records, she was required to have an ignition interlock device in her vehicle for a prior offense. The devices are designed to prevent a car from being started when the driver is intoxicated.