Police: Man hospitalized after Atwater crash with suspected DUI driver

A 41-year-old man remained hospitalized Friday, a day after a suspected drunken driver crashed into his vehicle in Atwater, police said.

The victim, whose name was not available, suffered “major, but not life-threatening” injuries,” Atwater police Lt. Samuel Joseph said.

Stanley Smith, 51, was arrested on suspicion of felony drunken driving following the crash, police said.

He was still in custody Friday at the Merced County Jail with bail set at more than $100,000, authorities confirmed.

Police said Smith was driving a brown Ford Explorer around 3:30 p.m. Thursday. He was heading west on Atwater Boulevard, going about 50 mph, witnesses told police.

“Witnesses said he slammed on his brakes and turned northbound onto First Street from Atwater Boulevard,” Joseph said.

Police said Smith’s vehicle “broadsided” a black Honda Accord at the stop sign for the intersection, causing major damage.

Emergency responders had to force their way into the vehicle using the hydraulic shears to pull the victim out. He was taken by helicopter to a Modesto-area hospital.

Police said Smith was not injured. His suspected blood-alcohol level was not available Friday.