Valley Man Dead & Officer Injured

November 9, 2010 5:21:30 AM PST
One man is dead and a police officer injured after a bizarre chain of events on Highway 99 in Merced this morning.The Highway Patrol says a man drove southbound on the northbound side of 99 from "R" street to Childs Avenue, causing several accidents along the way.

He finally stopped near Childs Avenue where officers pulled him out of the vehicle.

This section of northbound Highway 99 is back open now, but traffic was re-routed for about two hours this morning as officers tried to take the wrong-way driver into custody.

They say he was running around on the highway, flailing his arms and putting himself and others in danger and they were forced to use a tazer to get him under control.

Officers say a man in this silver truck took off in the wrong direction on the highway around 7:30 Thursday morning.

He caused at least four or five accidents along the way before finally stopping in the median near Child's Avenue.

Highway Patrol Officers arrived at the scene and pulled him out of the truck, but they say he fought them off and managed to run away, even jumping up on top of a parked big rig at one point.

The officers chased him, and used a baton and pepper spray as they tried to take him into custody.

That's when a Merced Police Officer who came to assist tazered the man.

Officer Shane Ferriera, Highway Patrol: "A Merced Police Officer deployed his tazer, and the suspect went down to the ground. Officers attempted to gain control of the suspect, he continued to resist and fight with officers, as the struggle insued, officers were able to arrest the suspect, get him into custody, and at that point they requested an ambulance respond to the scene."

The ambulance arrived around 8am.

The man was pronounced dead at the hospital less than an hour later.

At this point the cause of death has not been determined, and the investigation is on-going.

The only other confirmed injury was to a Merced Police Officer who was also taken to the hospital, but there's no word yet on his condition.


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