Head-On Near Westley: Two Killed, Three Hospitalized
Two men were killed and three people hospitalized after a head-on collision on the Delta-Mendota Canal bridge near Westley early Friday evening.
At about 5:15 p.m. Friday, California Highway Patrol officers were called to the scene of a two-car crash on Howard Road, west of Spark Road. Upon arrival officers found two of the occupants in one vehicle deceased and three others suffering from major injuries from the two cars.
According to the CHP, a Chevrolet Trailblazer being driven by 20-year-old Alejandra Villanueva of Patterson with one other passenger was traveling westbound on Howard Road, east of the private street Henderson Road, at about 65 miles per hour. At the same time a Toyota Corolla carrying three people was traveling eastbound on Howard Road at about 60 miles per hour.
For reasons that have not been determined yet, according to CHP, the Trailblazer drove off the north road edge and its right side tires went into the dirt and gravel shoulder. Villanueva then corrected by abruptly turning the wheel to the left in an attempt to return to the paved road.
The over correction caused her to lose control of the the vehicle and travel into the eastbound lane, directly into the path of the Corolla. CHP said neither driver was able to react in time and they collided head on, coming to rest on the eastbound land of Howard Road on the Delta-Mendota Canal bridge.
Villanueva and her passenger, 21-year old Armando Garcia of Patterson, suffered major injuries. Both were transported to Memorial Medical Center in Modesto.
The driver of the Corolla was killed in the crash. His identity and age are not yet known. One of his passengers, a 29-year-old man from Patterson, was also killed in the collision. His identity is being withheld pending family notification. The third passenger, 24-year-old Jesus Vargas of Atwater, suffered major injuries and was taken to Doctors Medical Center in Modesto where he is in critical condition.
Two air ambulance helicopters were called to transport the victims and a third went by ambulance, according to the CHP. Three of the victims, including the two deceased, were pinned in and had to be extracted from the vehicle which took about an hour. Officers were on scene for more than four-and-a-half hours investigating.
According to the CHP all of the occupants in both vehicles were wearing seat belts. Alcohol and drugs do not appear to be a factor in the collision.