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Rain-slicken Highway 99 triggers three-car crash on Highway 99
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Ripon officer Mario Ysit and CHP traffic officer J. Heitzenmann to a grandmother, her three grandchildren and a family dog following a three car pileup focus their attention during the Monday noon hour on northbound Highway 99 beneath the Jack Tone Road bridge. Ysit holds a leash for the pet. - photo by GLENN KAHL

It was a trauma in traffic one Modesto grandmother didn’t expect Monday when she drove her minivan northbound on Highway 99 through Ripon and under the Jack Tone Road overpass.

A red pickup truck in front of her spun out in the rainy conditions and was hit by a Grand Prix, according to the CHP Sgt. Kyle Plant.  Both vehicles bounced off the concrete center divider and were struck by the Modesto grandmother’s vehicle carrying her three grandchildren and a family dog wearing a surgical cone over its head.

The driver of the pickup sustained a broken leg, according to officers, but the children were unhurt in the smash up.  The grandmother and her youngsters gathered against the concrete retaining wall in the middle of the freeway just north of the bridge as officers investigated the scene.

CHP traffic officer J. Heitzenmann and Ripon officers kept close eyes on the children.  A CHP canine unit stopped at the scene and left a lead that the Ripon officer placed over the dog’s head giving its young owner a better way to hold onto her pet.

Traffic in the northbound lanes had backed up beyond Hammet Road to the south as three other Ripon officers assisted by blocking the on ramps to the freeway with their patrol units.