FRESNO - Shortly after 6:00 pm last Wednesday, a Fresno County Sheriff’s deputy was responding to a call for service in Fresno, when he noticed a green Ford Ranger pickup truck make an illegal U-turn on Olive Ave. near Highway 99. The deputy was driving in the left lane and eventually pulled up alongside the driver of the pickup, who was in the right lane and stopped for a red light at the intersection of Olive and Parkway.
As the light turned green, the driver of the pickup made another illegal U-turn from the far right lane. The deputy tried to swerve out of the way, but could not avoid the pickup which crashed into his passenger door. The driver then tried to flee. The deputy caught up to the pickup about a quarter mile away and got the driver to pull over and stop.
A woman in the passenger seat got out and tried to walk away. The deputy was able to stop her from leaving and then contacted the driver, 57 year old Roger Vannoy of Fresno, who showed signs of being under the influence of alcohol. No one suffered any injuries and both vehicles received minor damage.
The deputy requested an officer from the California Highway Patrol to respond to the scene. CHP specializes in testing for driving under the influence. The CHP officer found Vannoy to have a blood alcohol content of 0.14, the legal limit is 0.08. The officer arrested Vannoy and booked him into the Fresno County Jail on misdemeanor charges of DUI of alcohol and hit and run property damage. Vannoy was issued citations and released from jail about five hours later.
Big Valley News would like to remind the public to not drink and drive. Designate a sober driver or arrange a ride with a taxi or ride sharing service. All drivers and passengers should always buckle their safety belts as it’s proven to be the best defense against any type of collision.