KINGSBURG — Officers arrested a Florida big rig driver after driving the wrong way and evading police Tuesday.
Multiple law enforcement agencies from Fresno and Tulare County were dispatched to Highway 99 near Kingsburg around 3 a.m. after several reports of a wrong-way big rig driver, according to a media release.
The three-axle semi truck and trailer was found by officials driving southbound in the northbound lanes of Highway 99. When a sheriff's deputy activated his vehicle's emergency lights and siren, the driver of the semi attempted to ram the deputy's vehicle, forcing the deputy to swerve out of the way.
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The big rig driver continued driving the wrong way on the freeway and as the driver approached Avenue 328, he conducted a U-turn and began traveling the correct way, officials said.
Officers attempted an enforcement stop, but the big rig driver failed to yield and a pursuit ensued. Visalia California Highway Patrol officers were able to successfully deploy a spike strip, disabling the semi truck.
The driver, identified as 37-year-old Jose Alberto Perez of Miami, Florida, came to a stop on Highway 99 southbound at Avenue 260 and was taken into custody. Perez was determined to be under the influence of a controlled substance.