Fatality suspect nabbed
For The Madera Tribune
A Madera man alleged to be driving under the influence of alcohol struck a man and woman standing outside their car in the rain Sunday morning on Northbound 99 near Clinton Avenue in Fresno about 1:30 a.m., according to authorities.
Amado Mendez Ventura, 22, was charged with gross vehicular manslaughter and driving without a driver’s license.
Joshua Eisen, 28, of Merced was pronounced dead at the scene. His 28-year-old female passenger was also hit as she stood near their vehicle. She sustained major injuries and remains in critical condition at Community Regional Medical Center.
The Merced couple reportedly had just had a minor collision with a barrier or wall in the area and were standing outside, examining the damage when Ventura plowed into them and their car.
Ventura is being held in the Fresno County jail. His bail was set at $93,000.
Madera CHP reported no major-injury incidents over the holiday weekend. Periodic flooding from heavy rain in the construction area of northbound State Route 99 near Avenue 16 snarled traffic for most of the weekend, with periods of holiday traffic slowed and backed up to Herndon Avenue.