A driver who was going the wrong way on Highway 65 was killed in a crash on Saturday night and alcohol appeared to be a factor in the incident, Porterville Police stated.

Luis Carlos, 53 of Bakersfield, died in the crash.

Shortly after 6:30 p.m. Saturday, Porterville Police Officers responded to the area of Highway 65, just north of Tea Pot Dome, for an injury traffic collision. When Officers arrived on scene, they found a black GMC Canyon pickup and a white Dodge Caravan, both of which sustained major damage as the result of the traffic collision.

The driver of the GMC, who was subsequently identified as Carlos, was found deceased at the scene. The passenger of the GMC was believed to have suffered major injuries and was airlifted to Kaweah Delta Medical Center.

The occupants of the Dodge suffered minor injuries and were transported to Sierra View Medical Center by ambulance. The Porterville Police Department’s Major Accident Investigation Team was called out to assume the investigation.

Based on witness statements and evidence found at the collision, it was determined the GMC was traveling southbound in the northbound lanes of Highway 65 when the collision occurred. The Dodge was northbound on Highway 65, having just passed Tea Pot Dome Avenue, when the collision occurred.

The driver of the Dodge didn't see the GMC traveling the wrong way until both vehicles collided. Both vehicles were traveling at least 65 miles per hour at the time of the collision. Full and empty beer cans were found inside the GMC. Alcohol does appear to be a factor in the collision, Porterville Police stated.

Anyone with information regarding the investigation is asked to call the Porterville Police Department Traffic Unit, (559) 782-7400. 

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