FRESNO COUNTY – In the early hours of a fateful Saturday morning, a tragic collision on Highway 180 unfolded as a wrong-way driver’s attempt to correct course ended in a devastating crash, leaving one passenger dead and the driver facing charges of felony vehicular manslaughter and DUI.
On Nov. 4 at approximately 12:25 am, the Fresno Area California Highway Patrol (CHP) Communications Center received a call of an injury collision on westbound State Route 180, east of Armstrong Avenue, in the County of Fresno. Officers from the Fresno Area CHP and medical emergency personnel responded to the scene.
Preliminary investigation indicates a Honda Accord, driven by Vikash Kuma, 30, was traveling the wrong-way, driving eastbound in the westbound lanes of State Route 180. A Buick Enclave, driven by an adult male, 33, was traveling westbound on State Route 180 directly into the path of the Honda.
The driver of the Honda attempted to make a U-turn to correct his wrong-way direction and turned left directly into the path of the Buick. The driver of the Buick was unable to avoid a crash and struck the Honda on the passenger side. As a result of the crash the right front adult male passenger sustained critical injuries and was later pronounced deceased at the scene.
Kumar was transported to the Community Regional Medical Center (CRMC) with major but non-life-threatening injuries and was subsequently arrested for felony vehicular manslaughter while driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol.
The westbound lanes of State Route 180 were completely shut down between Temperance Avenue and Fowler Avenue for approximately two hours during the investigation. Kumar is currently being treated for his injuries at CRMC. Upon his release, he will be booked into the Fresno County Jail on charges of felony manslaughter and DUI. This investigation is ongoing.