General Crime

Juan Carlos Avilez-Chuc of Novato arrested on suspicion of DUI after his car crashed into a Caltrans truck

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A Novato man was arrested on suspicion of DUI after his car crashed into a Caltrans truck on southbound U.S. Highway 101 in Corte Madera early this morning, a California Highway Patrol officer said. The Caltrans construction crew was riding on the right shoulder north of the Madera Boulevard exit around 1:50 a.m. picking up cones that were had been up to close the No. 4 southbound lane for road work, CHP Officer Andrew Barclay said.

A CHP patrol car with flashing overhead lights also was following behind the Caltrans truck in the right shoulder, Barclay said. As the Caltrans crew got out of the truck to pick up the remaining cones and an illuminated arrow board at the end of the road closure, a southbound 2013 Saturn Ion drifted into the right shoulder after it passed the CHP patrol car, Barclay said.

The Saturn, driven by 30-year-old Juan Carlos Avilez-Chuc of Novato, then collided with the Caltrans truck, Barclay said. The driver of the Caltrans truck saw the approaching Saturn and jumped to safety into the bed of the truck less than a second before the collision, Barclay said. The Saturn spun out of control after the collision and struck a metal guardrail on the right shoulder before it stopped sideways and blocked the No. 3 and 4 lanes, Barclay said.

Chuc appeared intoxicated and was given field sobriety tests before he was taken by the Corte Madera Fire Department to Marin General Hospital for treatment of minor injuries, Barclay said. He was later arrested for misdemeanor DUI and driving without a license or insurance, Barclay said. The crash closed the No. 3 and 4 lanes for 45 minutes and traffic at that hour was not affected, Barclay said.

Barclay said motorists are required to move into a lane that is not immediately adjacent to a stationary or moving emergency vehicle, tow truck or marked Caltrans vehicle with activated warning lights. If the lane change is unsafe, motorists must slow down when they drive in the lane adjacent to those vehicles, Barclay said.

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