FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) –A driver was killed and two others suffered moderate to major injuries early Sunday morning in a fiery solo vehicle crash suspected to be a case of driving under the influence at the Highway 99 and Highway 180 interchange, according to the California Highway Patrol.
Officers received a report around 12:30 a.m. of a single-vehicle wreck on the southbound Highway 99 connector ramp to eastbound Highway 180, said spokesman Mike Salas. A 29-year-old man from Fresno drove his 2020 BMW X5 onto the exit but was not able to stay in lane and allowed the vehicle to strike a concrete barrier.
As a result of the collision, the BMW overturned at least once and then caught fire.
The driver was not wearing a seat belt and was thrown onto the roadway with major injuries, Salas said. A rear adult male passenger was also believed to have not worn a seat belt and suffered major injuries. The right-front female passenger was wearing a seat belt and suffered moderate injuries.
The driver was taken to Community Regional Medical Center for treatment but was later pronounced dead.
The female victim was taken also taken to CRMC for treatment, Salas said. The rear passenger had fled the scene after the crash but was later found by Fresno Police officers and was also taken to CRMC for treatment.
The CHP believes the use of alcohol or drugs appear to be a factor in the crash. The investigation continues.
The driver was identified Sunday as Sevak Korkotyan, 29, of Fresno, according to the Fresno County Sheriff-Coroner’s Office.