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Suspected DUI driver arrested after highway crash

A suspected drunken truck driver was arrested early Monday after he crashed his truck into a disabled big rig on Highway 99 south of Franklin Road, the California Highway Patrol reported.

Pedro Preciado, 46, of Los Angeles, was booked at Merced County Jail on suspicion of drunken driving, the CHP said in a statement.

No injuries were reported.

The CHP said Preciado was heading north on Highway 99 approaching the scene of an earlier minor collision involving a second truck driver, Dario Jimenez, 36, of Madera.

Preciado slowed and moved into the passing lane, but the right side of his 1997 Freightliner tractor-trailer hit the rear of Jimenez’s 2014 Kenworth tractor-trailer, the CHP said.

“As a result of the collision, both vehicles sustained major damage and completely blocked both northbound lanes of (Highway 99),” the CHP said. The collision remains under investigation.

The CHP said northbound Highway 99 was rerouted onto the paved center median at R Street from about 1 to 5 a.m. The freeway reopened at 8 a.m.

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