James Decarlo, 79, of Ripon was killed in a three-vehicle collision on Jack Tone Road near Wildwood Road and north of the five corners, Jack Tone, Lone Tree Road and French Camp roads intersection at about 10 p.m. Saturday.
The Collegeville and Ripon fire departments responded to the scene along with the REACH air ambulance that airlifted one of the more seriously injured victims to a Modesto trauma center. Firefighters wet down a dirt field near the crash site to provide a safe landing zone for the rescue helicopter.
CHP officer James Smith said an intoxicated driver, Andrew James Ryan, 38, of Manteca was driving southbound in a 2004 GMC pickup truck when he apparently drifted off to the right and collided with a guardrail at the Jack Tone intersection with Jack Tone Road causing its lights to malfunction.
Decarlo’s 1994 Ford truck was also southbound and he did not see Ryan’s truck in the dark and rear-ended the vehicle, spun around and blocked the northbound lane, the CHP reported. It was then hit by a late model Volkswagen estimated to be driving at near 60 miles an hour in the northbound lane, crashing into the truck’s left side front door.
Ryan reportedly received major injuries in the crash and was technically arrested for his DUI before he was transported to the hospital.
The CHP is continuing its investigation into the cause of the crash. Any witnesses to the deadly crash are urged to call the CHP Stockton office at (209) 943-8666.