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Car crash kills 3-year-old Ripon boy on Highway 17
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Stevie Merchant, 3. was killed in a grinding three vehicle rear-end crash just before 1 p.m. Saturday in the southbound lanes of Highway 17 just south of Lark Avenue in Los Gatos.
Stevie was strapped into his car seat in the family’s SUV when a box style delivery truck slammed into the back of their vehicle, colliding also with a small grey car sending seven people, including three children, to the hospital in separate ambulances. There were five family members in the Merchant vehicle when it was hit in a place where vehicles slow for beach traffic.  
Stevie is the grandson of Ripon Police Lt. Steve Merchant and his wife Christy who teaches at Weston Elementary School in Ripon. Stevie was described as a “great little guy with a huge spirit, a funny and happy kid.” The senior Merchants from Ripon were not involved in the crash.
A account has been established in Stevie’s name to help the family with funeral and burial costs. It had $6,300 donated as of Monday.  There will be a viewing at the Deegan Funeral Chapel in Ripon from 9 until 11 a.m. Friday with graveside services at the Burwood Cemetery at noon. 
Those wishing to donate to cover the family’s expenses may go to

To contact Glenn Kahl, email