A suspected drunken driver going the wrong way on 11th Street triggered a three-car collision Friday that injured three people and snarled traffic east of Tracy for more than an hour.
California Highway Patrol Sgt. Robert Rickman said a 36-year-old man from Stockton in a 2008 Hyundai Azera sedan was driving the wrong way — east in the westbound lane of 11th Street east of Chrisman Road — around 11:30 a.m. He collided head-on with a 1993 GMC Sierra pickup driven by a 47-year-old man from Modesto.
Both vehicles were in the left lane. The pickup was going about 45 mph, Rickman said, and witnesses described the Hyundai as “traveling at a high rate of speed.”
The impact sent the pickup across the road and into a field, where it stopped under a high-power transmission tower.
The Hyundai driven by the Stockton man immediately hit another vehicle in the left lane, a 1991 GMC pickup driven by a 17-year-old boy from Stockton towing a trailer filled with landscaping equipment.
The head-on crash sent the Hyundai spinning across the median. It ended up in the left lane of eastbound 11th Street. The pickup came to rest against the median with the trailer sticking out into the westbound lanes.
The three cars involved in the crash ended up separated by about the length of a football field. Debris was strewn over both sides of 11th Street and the median.
Traffic came to a halt in both directions as CHP officers and firefighters tended to the crash victims.
The drivers of the Hyundai sedan and the first pickup were both trapped in their vehicles and had to be cut free from the wreckage.
Rickman said the driver of the Hyundai had a broken leg and was taken by ambulance to San Joaquin General Hospital in French Camp. He was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence.
The driver of the first pickup also had a broken leg and lacerations to his arm. He was taken by ambulance to Memorial Medical Center in Modesto.
The driver of the second pickup had minor injuries, including lacerations, and was taken by ambulance to San Joaquin General Hospital.
Rickman said the road was fully reopened after about an hour.