Late summer in the Northern San Joaquin Valley means harvest. And that means that more than ever, drivers are sharing area roads with farm equipment.
The Modesto-area CHP is cautioning drivers to take extra care in the wake of a fatal accident involving farm equipment near Newman Friday morning.
The accident occurred on Eastin Road near Morehead Road just before 6 a.m. The site is east of Interstate 5, between Newman and Gustine.
CHP officer Tom Olsen gave the following account: Luis Arazia Garcia, 20, of Gustine was driving a farm tractor pulling equipment southbound on Eastin when a 59-year-old man from Ceres, driving a 2017 Chevrolet Silverado, approached from behind.
The truck hit the farm implement, causing the driver to lose control. The Silverado went into the northbound lanes, directly into the path of a 2018 Kenworth semi trailer driven by Armando Flores, 22, of Chowchilla.
The Kenworth struck the Silverado. The driver of the pickup, whose name has not been released, was declared dead at the scene.
Neither Garcia nor Flores was injured, Olsen said.
At 10 a.m., the CHP and the Stanislaus County Coroner remained at the scene.
Olsen said it’s important for people to be aware of all the farm equipment on the roads at this time of year.
“This is a very active time of the year for our farming community.,” he wrote on the CHP’s Facebook page. “It’s important all motorists pay special attention to agricultural equipment on our roads. Also, it is equally important for farmers to be seen on our roadways. Reflective signage, marking lights and/or pilot vehicles can reduce the probability of a collision from occurring.”