SACRAMENTO, CA – California Highway Patrol officials have determined that alcohol was a factor in a wrong way driver crash late Thursday night on Highway 99.
CHP officials state that around 11:35 PM, Sacramento resident Kevin Vanarkel entered Business 80 the wrong way at the T Street off-ramp, causing him to travel southbound in the northbound lanes. Vanarkel drove southbound in the northbound fast lane and entered Highway 99 towards South Sacramento.
Vanarkel continued southbound as several passing motorists called into the CHP Sacramento Communications Center reported the wrong way driver. A responding CHP unit created a traffic break and attempted to stop the vehicle north of 47th Avenue, but the vehicle drove into the center median area and passed the patrol vehicle. Vanarkel drove his vehicle towards the slow lanes where he collided head-on with a semi-truck near 47th Avenue.
Vanarkel was transported to a local area hospital with moderate injuries. The investigating CHP officer contacted Vanarkel at the hospital and determined that he was driving under the influence of alcohol at the time of the crash. After release from the hospital, Vanarkel will be booked for charges of Driving Under the Influence, and could faces other charges.
The crash caused three lanes of northbound Highway 99 near 47th Avenue to be shut down for a while for investigation and cleanup. A small diesel spill from the semi-truck was cleaned up by fire crews.
This is the latest wrong-way driver crash in the Sacramento region for a total of six.
The CHP South Sacramento area office is actively seeking witnesses and information regarding the events leading to this crash. If you have any information, please contact the CHP at 916-681-2300 or the dispatch center at 916-861-1300.
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