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Ripon man dies in 99 accident
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MERCED – A Ripon man was killed early Friday morning when the pickup truck he was traveling in veered off the road on Highway 99 near Merced and crashed into metal guardrail.

73-year-old Terry Michael Schoen was pronounced dead on-scene shortly before 7 a.m. when the 2000 Dodge pickup truck he was riding in – being driven by 67-year-old Gerald Young of Modesto – lost its southbound orientation just past Worden Avenue and came to rest against the guardrail.

According to a report published in the Merced Sun-Star, the force of the accident, as reported by the California Highway Patrol, was great enough to shear the entire back bed of the pickup from the rest of the chassis.

Neither drugs nor alcohol appear to be a factor in the accident, and the cause is still under investigation.