Authorties responded to the intersection of Santa Fe Ave and Spaceport Entry for a vehicle collision at 9:45 p.m.
One vehicle, a Honda, was fully engulfed when Atwater PD arrived first on scene. Two people were trapped inside the engulfed vehicle. They both succumbed to their injuries, CHP say.
The second vehicle, A 2012 Lexus, was also involved. The Lexus crashed into a chain link fence, overturning, CHP say.
The investigation determined a 56-year-old female out of Merced was driving a 2012 Honda westbound on Santa Fe Avenue with her passenger, a 56-year-old male out of Merced. The 2012 Honda was approaching Spaceport Entry at an unknown rate of speed. Meanwhile, King Vanga (20, Atwater) was driving a 2012 Lexus in the #1 lane directly behind the Honda at a high-rate of speed. King Vanga collided into the rear of the 2012 Honda. The collision caused Mr. Vanga to veer northwest, collide into the fence that bordered the south of Santa Fe Avenue, then overturned. The impact caused the Honda to veer southwest into the eastbound lanes and immediately caught fire, CHP say.
CHP Officers determined that Mr Vanga was under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs at the time of the collision. He was arrested and booked in the Merced County jail for felony DUI, vehicle manslaughter, and Removes /takes firearm from public officer.