Two people killed in a traffic collision Friday afternoon were identified by the Madera County coroner as Juan Barragan Cervantes and Vanessa Tapetillo, both 28.
Bruce Erickson, 65, of Winton in Merced County was arrested after the violent crash on Highway 99 north of Chowchilla. Authorities said the man had caused two hit-and-runs moments earlier while allegedly driving under the influence.
Erickson sustained minor injuries after his Ford F-350 pickup truck landed on top of a Toyota Tacoma, killing its two occupants, said Omar Godinez, a CHP spokesman.
The accident happened shortly before 5 p.m. Friday. Godinez said Erickson crashed into two vehicles while leaving Farnesi’s restaurant in Chowchilla. Erickson drove his Ford F-350, which was hauling a trailer, north on Highway 99, Godinez said, before taking the Road 15 exit. Erickson was driving at highway speeds when he took the exit, which features a sharp right turn.
Instead of fully exiting the highway, Godinez said, the truck went airborne after driving past the edge of the exit curve. It landed atop the Toyota, which wasas as it was entering the highway.
Police arrested Erickson after noticing he was under the influence, Godinez said. Erickson refused to be tested for alcohol.