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Deadly 9 hours on Manteca roads

Two separate accidents claim three lives

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Deadly 9 hours on Manteca roads

The Toyota involved in the fatal Louise Avenue and Jack Tone Road crash came to rest in an almond orchard.

GIL POMALES/The Bulletin


POSTED May 18, 2013 2:41 a.m.

Two separate car crashes on Friday claimed the lives of three people.

The first accident occurred at about 2:43 a.m. in the 300 block of South Airport Way. The solo accident claimed the lives of the driver and passenger who were both dead at the scene.

The second deadly crash happened at approximately 11:17 a.m. at the intersection of Louise Avenue and Jack Tone Road. The collision between an eastbound car on Louise Avenue and another car northbound on Jack Tone Road claimed the life of the passenger in one of the vehicles.

The identities of the all three victims were not available as of press time pending notification of next of kin.

According to the investigation pieced together by the California Highway Patrol, 53-year-old Juan Vega, 53, of Modesto was driving east on Louise Avenue with another person in the front passenger seat. He stopped at the four-way stop intersection before moving forward to cross Jack Tone Road directly into the path of a 2008 Ford going northbound on Jack Tone being driven by Cesar Monroy of Stockton. CHP estimated that the northbound Ford was going approximately 50-55 mph as it approached Louise Avenue.

The front of the Ford vehicle collided with the right side of the Toyota. The impact sent both vehicles off the roadway and onto the northeast shoulder of the intersection. The passenger in the Toyota vehicle sustained fatal injuries as a result. His name was not released but was reported to be a male from Riverbank. “It is undetermined if he was wearing his seat belt,” CHP Public Information Officer James Smith stated in his report.

Vega, the driver of the Toyota, sustained major injuries and was transported to Doctors Hospital in Modesto. Monroy, who was driving the Ford vehicle, was not injured.

Alcohol or drugs are not being considered a factor in the ongoing investigation of this fatal crash, he stated.

In the doubly deadly South Airport Way vehicular fatality, however, Sgt. Wayne Miller of the Manteca Police Department said that it appears speeding was a factor. Preliminary reports from witness accounts indicated that the car, a two-door burgundy Scion, was going southbound on Airport Way at a high rate of speed causing the driver to lose control of the vehicle shortly after it crossed the intersection at West Yosemite Avenue, sending it careening off the side of the road. As it left the roadway, the vehicle rolled over, shearing off a telephone pole and hitting a mobile home trailer before it finally came to rest. The trailer was unoccupied and no one was inside at the time of the accident, Sgt. Miller said.

The impact was such that both the driver and passenger in the front seat of the vehicle had to be extricated by Manteca Fire Department personnel using the Jaws of Life. The body of the second victim was pinned inside the vehicle in such a way that the car needed to be moved to a safe position before emergency fire personnel could extricate it.

Taking over the fatal accident is the Major Accident Investigation Team of the Manteca PD. The Citizens Emergency Response Team also responded and helped in the traffic control. The section of South Airport Way between West Yosemite Avenue and Wawona Street were still closed to traffic as of 8 a.m. on Friday.

The investigation, by CHP and Manteca Police, into both Friday’s fatal accidents is continuing.

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