On May 15, 2019, at approximately 9:53 pm, Merced Communication Center (MCC) began receiving calls of a multi-vehicle collision on Highway 99 (northbound) at Childs Avenue.
Units responded to the scene with the first unit arriving at approximately 10:10 pm. Upon arrival, units advised dispatch that both northbound lanes of Highway 99 were completely blocked.
During the course of the investigation it was that Kristopher Thomas 27 (Merced) was driving a 2002 GMC truck on State Highway 99 (northbound) on-ramp from Childs Avenue at an unknown speed. Henry Miller 22 (Rochester Minnesota) was driving a 2007 Ford Motorhome on State Route 99 (northbound), approaching Childs Avenue in the #1 lane at approximately 65 miles per hour. Natalie Cervantes 23 (Riverbank Ca) was driving a 2014 Toyota Corolla to the rear of the motorhome also at approximately 65 miles per hour. Steven Clements 72 (Stockton) was driving a 2005 Ford pickup toeing a trailer to the rear of the Toyota, in the #2 lane, at approximately 55 miles per hour.
For unknown reason, Thomas failed to maintain control of the GMC truck as he entered Highway 99 (northbound) and swerved directly into the path of the motorhome. The front of Motorhome collided with the left side of the GMC. GMC then continued to the right and drove off the east roadway edge, colliding with the oleander bushes and chain link fence where it came to rest. Miller and Cervantes took necessary evasive action, in their respective vehicles, in order to avoid the collision. Cervantes swerved to the right where she collided with the metal guardrail along the east roadway edge of State Route 99 (northbound) under Childs Avenue. The Toyota was propelled back to the left where it overturned and came to rest blocking the #1 and #2 lanes. Clements swerved to the right, driving off the east roadway edge and also colliding with the oleander bushes and chain link fence where it came to rest.
During the investigation, it was determined that Thomas was under the influence and was subsequently arrested for DUI. Thomas was transported by AirMed to Memorial Hospital for injuries. No other parties sustained any visible injuries. Collision is still under investigation, according to CHP.