A crash discovered Monday near Snelling claimed the lives of four family members, the deadliest of a series of crashes in the area that killed two others and left several people injured over the holiday weekend.
A passerby called the California Highway Patrol just before 8:30 a.m. Monday to report spotting an overturned GMC Sierra in a canal east of Highway 59, Officer Moises Onsurez said. The truck had been traveling eastbound on Youd Road when it left the roadway during the night and came to rest on its roof in the waterway, Onsurez said.
Officers pulled from the truck the bodies of a 33-year-old Snelling man, his wife, daughter and son. The ages for the man’s family members were not immediately available, but officers estimate the girl was 12 and the boy was 8.
The names of the victims were not immediately released.
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People living on Youd Road reported hearing tires screech between 8 and 9:30 p.m. Sunday, but did not hear a crash, Onsurez said. The residents looked outside but did not see the overturned truck. A passerby reported the truck Monday morning.
Officers said the area did not appear to be foggy.
Their names have not been released.
A series of crashes in Merced County killed two others and left several people injured this weekend.
Investigators were working to determine what caused a crash that killed two Lodi men outside Merced on Saturday. The California Highway Patrol said that, due to fog, visibility was less than 50 feet when the first crash was reported about 7:40 a.m. Saturday on Highway 59 near Rahilly Road, Onsurez said.
The two men were in a Dodge Ram pickup truck that collided with the back of a vehicle described by the CHP as “a milk truck.” After the collision, the Dodge Ram then was struck by a Chevrolet Tahoe and a Chevrolet van, the CHP said.
The two Lodi men, ages 35 and 47, died at the scene. The driver of their vehicle, Eduardo Barajas Aguilar, 38, of Empire, was taken to Doctors Medical Center in Modesto with major injuries. An update on his condition was not available.
Names of the two people killed were not released pending notifications of their families, the Merced County Coroner’s Office said.
The people in the other vehicles were not injured, officers said.
A series of crashes in the foothills killed others this weekend.
While officers were responding to Saturday’s fatal crash, they received word of another collision in the area, the CHP said.
Rene Escalante, 44, of Dos Palos suffered minor injuries in the second crash. No other injuries were reported.
A third and a fourth crash were reported a short time later, also without injuries reported.
Sixteen vehicles were involved in the four crashes. Wreckage from the vehicles was strewn across about a half-mile of the roadway, the CHP reported.
Investigators closed Highway 59 at Sandy Mush Road and just south of Vassar Avenue for more than five hours as emergency responders cleaned up the scene.
Onsurez said the Merced office of the CHP is leading the investigation, but also said investigators from the CHP’s Major Accident Investigation Team could be called in to assist.