A DUI checkpoint sparked a wild pursuit that sent a rented 15-passenger U-Haul van hurtling onto the sidewalk on East F Street in an attempt to bypass the officers, Saturday night, April 9.
The driver, William Corcoran, 40, of Fairfield, along with a 16-year-old passenger, jumped the curb and the van hit speeds of 80-100 mph for almost two miles along the crowded main thoroughfare during one of the busiest times of the year for the city with the influx of Oakdale rodeo traffic. Corcoran turned north on Reed Road but lost control of his van and crashed into the side of a house, causing minor damage to the residence.
Corcoran and the 16-year-old girl passenger, who is from Oakley, complained of pain after the crash but both escaped major injury. They claimed they were returning from Black Oak Casino and got lost, which is how they ended up in Oakdale.
Police found an unloaded revolver in the van and Corcoran had a no bail warrant for his arrest for possession of stolen property and another warrant for a prior DUI arrest.
He was booked on suspicion of evading arrest, reckless driving, child endangerment, and driving under the influence. He was additionally charged as being a felon in possession of a firearm as well as several more vehicle code violations.
As usual for the rodeo weekend, Oakdale experienced its share of bar room brawls, drunk in public violations, but aside from the DUI driver who attempted the evasive maneuvers and failed, there were no serious accidents or incidents.
The DUI checkpoint picked up five inebriated drivers while the entire weekend Oakdale Police caught seven total; however both Modesto Police Department and California Highway Patrol were patrolling and making arrests, which brought the total to 15. In other arrests and citations, there were 12 unlicensed drivers, and 20 vehicles towed.
“The bars were packed and most of the violent incidents were related to alcohol,” Sgt. Kerri Redd said of the weekend assaults.
One woman was also injured at the Oakdale Rodeo Parade, suffering a broken leg when she fell off the trailer she was riding on and one of the wheels ran over her leg. Emergency crews treated the woman on the side of the street, while the parade slowly made its way past the scene.