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Mitchell Road crash blamed on alcohol
Ceres Cop Car

A Saturday evening crash which flipped one car over at Mitchell and Fowler roads is being blamed on the intoxication of one of the involved drivers.

The crash occurred at 5:59 p.m. as Lawrence Autry Jr., 55, of Atwater, was attempting to turn onto westbound Fowler Road from the northbound turn lane of Mitchell Road. Police said Autry turned his 2002 Honda Odyssey in an unsafe manner in front of a southbound 1999 Mercedes driven by Rajvir Dool, 18, of Ceres, who had a green light. Traveling at about 40 mph, she was unable to stop in time and struck the Honda, flipping it over and trapping an uninjured Autry inside.

Ceres Police Officers Eric Gallegos and Michael Vierra swiftly used their batons to break out the front windshield of the vehicle to free Autry.

Dool's vehicle came to rest on a high-voltage power control box that controls the signal lights at the intersection. Crews from the city of Modesto and Turlock Irrigation District responded to shut power off in the area until the vehicle was safely removed off the box. Dool complained of pain from the collision and was treated by paramedics at the scene.

Because Autry appeared intoxicated, Officer Miguel Villalobos conducted a field sobriety test which he failed. Autry admitted drinking two double shots of whiskey shortly before the crash. A breath sample revealed a .21 percent blood alcohol content, nearly three times the legal limit.

Autry, who had an expired commercial driver's license, was booked into the County Jail on charges of DUI causing injury and driving with an expired license.