Two Manteca men in their early 30s were killed Saturday afternoon in a grinding collision that split their northbound 2011 Hyundai Sonata in half with the front section with wheels intact being ejected into the air and flying over a wrought iron fence, through a small stand of redwood trees and landing on the front lawn of a home.
The crash occurred a few minutes before 3 p.m. Saturday on Union Road between Del Webb at Woodbridge and Lovelace Road.
The CHP did not release the names of the deceased but one was said to be a bartender in a Manteca tavern south of town.
The CHP said the Hyundai had drifted onto the shoulder of the road reportedly at a high rate of speed. The driver apparently over-corrected in his attempt to get back on the road and struck the oncoming late model Toyota Corolla at a slight angle that injured the 58-year-old woman driver from Stockton. She was aided in getting out of her car by a nearby resident who said she had heard what sounded like an explosion when the two cars collided. That driver was transported to an area trauma center by ambulance.
The rear half of the Hyundai landed in a vertical position up against a wrought iron fence 75 feet from the front of the car.
Two neighbors living in the rural area north of Manteca’s city limits said that speeding motorists are common on that stretch of Union Road. They recalled an incident last year where a car flipped into a tree and caught on fire. A teenager ran to help with a fire extinguisher in an attempt to extinguish the fire and pulled two motorists out of the vehicle.
A CHP spokesman Sunday afternoon said that alcohol was being considered as a factor in the crash. The roadway was blocked for two hours while a traffic investigation was being conducted by CHP officers. Skid marks that began on the east sandy shoulder of the roadway continued for over 100 feet to the point of impact. Traffic was detoured for several hours on Union Road during the CHP and coroner’s investigation. The two men were reportedly not wearing their seat belts at the time of the crash.
To contact Glenn Kahl, email firstname.lastname@example.org.