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Driver faces felony DUI charges after collision leaves another driver clinging to life

A small sedan and an SUV involved in a crash at the intersection of Olive and Maple avenues in east-central Fresno on Thursday morning, Nov. 10, 2016.
A small sedan and an SUV involved in a crash at the intersection of Olive and Maple avenues in east-central Fresno on Thursday morning, Nov. 10, 2016. jguy@fresnobee.com

A 22-year-old driver was hospitalized with life-threatening injuries after his Honda was broadsided by a suspected drunken driver Thursday morning at Maple and Olive avenues, according to Fresno police. Two women in the car also are in critical condition.

The crash occurred about 8:30 a.m. The driver of a Ford SUV, identified as Stephen Blaine Darnell, 46, was southbound on Maple approaching Olive when he ran a red light and broadsided the red Honda, which was eastbound on Olive, according to Lt. Joe Gomez.

Darnell told officers he was reaching to pick up a lunch pail in his SUV when the crash occurred. However, officers later determined he was under the influence of alcohol. Darnell was booked on charges of felony driving under the influence. Gomez said that should the driver of the other car die of his injuries, Darnell could face felony manslaughter charges.

The two female passengers in the Honda were the 53-year-old mother of the driver and his sister (age unknown). Darnell sustained a cut on his leg.

The Collision Reconstruction Unit is investigating the crash.

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