DUI Driver Arrested Following Two-Vehicle Collision Near 27th Avenue

KINGS COUNTY, CA (August 8, 2023) – Sunday morning, Maria Aguerralde died, and Julia Mendoza was hospitalized after a DUI crash on Highway 198.

CHP officers responded to the incident around 11:30 a.m. along Highway 198, west of 27th Avenue.

Based on the initial investigation, a 2000 Chevrolet Silverado was traveling west on Highway 198 at around 70 to 80 mph. The intoxicated driver, 65-year-old Mariano Najar Martinez of Huron, then veered his Silverado to the opposing lanes of the Highway.

As a result, the Silverado collided head-on with a Chevrolet S-10 traveling eastbound at about 55 miles per hour.

First responders arrived at the site of the collision shortly after. There, officials declared the S-10 driver dead at the scene. She was later identified as  82-year-old Maria Aguerralde, of Huron. Aguerralde’s passenger, 53-year-old Julia Mendoza of Huron, was hospitalized for minor injuries

Authorities placed Martinez into custody before transferring him to a local trauma center for treatment of his injuries.

The California Highway Patrol is asking anyone with additional information regarding the fatal DUI crash to contact their Handford office at (559) 582-0231.

The Sweet James team sends their heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of Maria Aguerralde.

It is important to have strong legal representation on your side when losing a loved one in a DUI collision. Reach out to the wrongful death lawyers at Sweet James today. With 20 years of experience in the field, they know what it takes to help you win your case. Their team understands that nothing can alleviate the emotional pain of a death of a loved one, but they can help you seek justice and compensation. Call their office at 1-800-900-0000 for a free and confidential case evaluation. You can reach them 24 hours a day and 7 days a week through email, text, and online chat.

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