Two women passengers burned to death Monday night when their Ford sedan – stopped on Interstate 5 — was rear ended by a semi-truck traveling in the outside lane near Roth Road.
The truck driver’s speed was estimated at 55 miles per hour.
It was about 8:20 p.m. when truck driver Juan Martinez, 43, was southbound on I-5 suddenly came upon the sedan stopped in a southbound lane of the freeway – within two seconds of changing lanes from the middle to the right hand lane. He reportedly told officers he had spotted a man standing just to the right of the vehicle.
Officers said the driver apparently had mechanical difficulties and came to a stop in the lane of traffic on the edge of the roadway when he left the vehicle apparently to summon help.
According to the CHP report, the impact forced the car down the dirt and grass embankment overturning on its left side and bursting into flames. The female passengers reportedly succumbed to the fire and other injuries. The driver of the 18-wheeler was transported by ambulance to an area hospital. The outside lane was shut down for several hours while investigators completed their investigation.
A forensic dentist from Manteca was called in on Wednesday in an effort to identify the women from their dental records. They were both listed as Jane Does.