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Pre-dawn crash kills 1, injures 4
Accident on remote road near San Joaquin River
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Mortensen Road seen from the east shows the fatal crash path of travel where the Munes’ vehicle left the roadway in the right of the picture and then overcorrected into the left side of the photograph – off the shoulder – then coming back on the roadway rolling several times. It came to rest on its wheels in the alfalfa field at right. - photo by GLENN KAHL
A former Manteca High student and four of her friends were ejected from their 2006 Toyota Scion before dawn Thursday morning on Mortensen Road, three quarters of a mile west of South Airport Way to the north of the confluence of the San Joaquin and Stanislaus rivers.

Driver Cortney Nicole Nunes, 18, of Manteca was killed in the crash that occurred some five miles south of Manteca’s Highway 120 in the middle of open farm land.

Injured were Sunny Diaz, 19, Saustino Ramos, 20, David Malear, 19, and a 15-year-old boy, all of Manteca.  They were transported by ambulances to Doctors Medical Center in Modesto and to San Joaquin General Hospital in French Camp, the CHP reported.

One was airlifted out by helicopter.

The CHP said that alcohol, and/or drugs, are suspected as a primary collision factor.  Also the fact no one was wearing seat restraints probably contributed to the severity of the injuries, officers said.

Two Manteca ambulances, one from Ripon and a REACH medical helicopter from Lodi and the Lathrop-Manteca Fire Department all responded to the 3:30 a.m. crash where CHP officers said the driver ran off the north side of the roadway – apparently overcorrected – then ran off the south side of the roadway, coming back onto Mortensen Road, rolling over several times.

The small, white eastbound sedan ended up on its wheels in a freshly cut alfalfa field on the north side of Mortensen Road.  Some emergency personnel, first to arrive on the scene,  reportedly found themselves traumatized by what they encountered.

Traffic officers said they were called to the crash site by two of the passengers, using their cell phones, who had not lost consciousness in the crash.  Officers said they appeared to be lost in the darkness, coupled with not knowing exactly where they were located – having no lights on the country road.

CHP officers said they worked on triangulating the location of the crash site before emergency equipment could find them lying injured both in the roadway and in the field.

Officers continued their investigation after dawn Thursday morning.  The CHP reportedly impounded the vehicle for continued investigation.