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Former Merced County Commissioner Ralph Cook Killed in DUI Crash

ralph cook killed in drunk driving accident
A former Merced County Commissioner died on the morning of June 8 in a crash involving a drunk driver. According to the California Highway Patrol (CHP), Cook’s girlfriend was driving at the time of the incident.

Southbound Highway 99 was shut down after Cook’s girlfriend lost control of a 2015 Mercedes and crashed.

“When she went into the right shoulder she hit a guard rail, the guardrail went through the vehicle’s windshield, went through the back end, but the guardrail hit the front passenger,” said Luis Lara, California Highway Patrol.

Cook was pronounced dead at the scene.

“Our coroner’s division worked with Solano County and they made notification to Judge Cook’s daughter, and the unfortunate news about his passing this morning as a result of a car crash,” said Sheriff Vern Warnke, Merced Co. Sheriff’s Office.

The owner of Kewl Kat’s Bar in Merced claims Cook met 38-year-old Jacqulin Calixtro at his establishment around midnight. Later, the two argued in the parking lot. This is the point where a man approached Cook and physically assaulted him.

At the time of this report, police are analyzing surveillance video to identify any suspects.

Cook was transported to a Modesto hospital and later discharged.

The CHP confirms that the couple were traveling from Stanislaus County at the time of the incident.

Officers said that Calixtro appeared intoxicated at the scene.

“They did conduct a field sobriety test here on scene, the officer determined she was under the influence of alcohol at the time of the collision,” said Lara.

Cook’s peers and loved ones said that he was a good and passionate man both inside and outside of the courts.

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Calixtro was arrested for felony DUI and gross vehicular manslaughter.

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