65-year Old Man from Winton Accused of Driving Drunk and Killing Two in Chowchilla – YCV

The investigation continues into Friday’s deadly DUI crash in Chowchilla that has left a man and woman, both in their late twenties, dead. The California Highway Patrol says 65-year old Bruce Erickson of Winton was allegedly driving drunk on Friday before 5pm, when he lost control of his 2012 Ford F-350 truck and collided with a 2015 Toyota Tacoma.

CHP said Erickson also hit two other cars before the fatal crash and just kept going. They said he only suffered minor injuries.

Many in the Chowchilla community are saddened by the news, thinking of the two innocent victims and their families.

Charles Wade, a Chowchilla resident commented on Saturday as he was leaving Farnesi’s Steakhouse, “Sad, pathetic.”

CHP said Erickson told officers he had left Farnesi’s off Highway 99 and had been drinking before the crash, though it is unclear if he had been drinking at Farnesi’s. No one at the restaurant on Saturday was available for comment. Investigators allege Erickson was drunk and lost control of his truck as he was getting off the freeway. His truck with a trailer attached, they say, launched in the air.

“It did go airborne. It went broadside and took off the roof. It went through a dirt center divider area and there was a little ramp which allowed it to go airborne and then took off the roof and most of the top part of the Tacoma,” Jude Dunbar with CHP told the media on Friday.

Robert Allen lives in Chowchilla and called Friday’s crash devastating. He said, “How else can you describe it? Two innocent people are dead and the guy is gonna have to live with it for the rest of his life.”

Allen said he frequents Farnesi’s and was at the restaurant an hour after the crash occurred.

“Well it wasn’t very good. Everybody had heard already that there was an auto accident,” said about the somber mood at the restaurant.

Erickson faces two counts of vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence, felony dui, and hit and run for the two other crashes.


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