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Wrong-way driver causes carnage
Two persons sustained bone-breaking injuries Saturday afternoon when a Ceres driver entered Highway 99 the wrong direction and caused several collisions and the damage of five vehicles.

A total of eight persons - including the driver - sustained injuries during the 4:09 p.m. incident on the elevated portion of 99 just west of the downtown Ceres Fire Station.

According to Eric Parson, a public information officer with the California Highway Patrol, the crash was due to Fnu Kaur, 20, of Ceres, steering his 1995 Ford Taurus the wrong way onto the new northbound offramp at Whitmore Avenue near Kentucky Fried Chicken. Kaur kept traveling southbound in the northbound lanes.

Parson said there is no reason given for Kaur entering the wrong way nor traveling for such a great distance. Alcohol did not appear to be a factor, he said.

The CHP report on the crash noted that Kaur was traveling at approximately 55 mph when he encountered the first opposing vehicle, a 2003 Acura driven by Maria Barboza, 34, of Los Banos. She swerved to avoid a collision with Kaur, but overcorrected and lost control and hit a metal pole on the right side of the freeway. Barboza and passenger Miguel Cintora, also of Los Banos, each sustained minor injuries.

Traveling behind Barboza in the center lane was Karl Honea, 29, of Pollock Pines, who was unable to get his 2005 Jeep Wrangler out of the way in time. The two vehicles collided head-on with the Jeep overturning. Honea and his passenger, Crissaundra Spainhower, 26, also of Pollock Pines, sustained minor injuries and both were taken to Doctors Medical Center in Modesto for treatment.

Flying crash debris then struck a 2010 Chevy Tahoe driven in the center lane by Matthew Surber, 45, of Bakersfield, the report indicated. Surber was not hurt.

The fifth and final vehicle involved saw the worst injuries. Kaur's Ford directly struck a 2010 Honda Civic driven by Rina Soun, 22, of Keyes. Soun sustained a broken leg and arm and was rushed to Doctors Medical Center and passenger Israel Perez, 23, of Keyes, went to Memorial hospital with similar injuries as well as internal injuries. Four-month-old infant Karina Guirartus in Soun's Honda was not injured but was taken to the hospital to be checked out.

Kaur was rushed to Memorial Medical Center with minor injuries. The CHP is following up to see just why Kaur drove onto the new offramp. It opened just recently.

Ceres Fire Department first-responders had to extricate the victims from the Soun vehicle and the freeway was shut down briefly for rescue efforts.