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Ceres Woman Faces Charges in Fatal Oakdale Crash

Carlos Rodriguez

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OAKDALE – A Ceres woman is facing charges in a fatal crash that claimed the life of her passenger Tuesday morning.

The crash happened at about 5:18am on Highway 108 just east of Lancaster Road. Emergency crews responded and found four vehicles involved in the crash, and an unresponsive adult male down in the roadway.

The California Highway Patrol reports that the driver of a 2003 Chevrolet SUV identified as Erica Linja was traveling eastbound on Highway 108 when she attempted to pass a 2009 Freightliner. The SUV sideswiped a 2001 Honda sedan that was traveling westbound, causing Linja to lose control of her vehicle.

The Chevrolet entered the eastbound lane before swerving back into the westbound lane again directly into the path of an oncoming 2014 Ford utility truck. Both vehicles crashed, ejecting the front passenger who was not wearing a seat belt. The Chevrolet then entered the eastbound lane again where it was struck by the Freightliner.

Linja was transported by air ambulance to a hospital with major injuries. She faces charges of driving under the influence and vehicular manslaughter, both felonies.

The driver of the Ford was also taken to a hospital, but suffered only minor injuries. The driver of the Freightliner and Honda were uninjured in the crash.

The California Highway Patrol would like to remind motorists that properly wearing a seatbelt can save lives during a traffic collision.

Carlos Rodriguez is an Emmy Award winning photojournalist specializing in public safety and natural disasters. His passion for local news stems from a deep commitment to his community, with a selfless mission to inform the citizens of the valley. As he worked on assignment for 19 days at the devastating Camp Fire in Paradise, California, he spent most of his time helping survivors contact their loved ones to let them know they were ok. Carlos is a veteran of Univision, FOX, and Telemundo TV stations and a native of Modesto, California.

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Pedestrian Killed in Collision Near Lathrop

Carlos Rodriguez

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SAN JOAQUIN COUNTY – Authorities with the California Highway Patrol investigated a crash that claimed the life of a man Friday night.

The collision happened at about 9:43pm on eastbound Interstate 120 about a quarter mile east of Interstate 5. The California Highway Patrol reports a man ran across the lanes of traffic toward the median and was struck by a vehicle.

The pedestrian landed in the slow lane of traffic and died from his injuries.

No further details were available Friday night.

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Wrong Way Driver Causes Traffic Collision on Highway 99

Gaby Muro

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MERCED COUNTY – A wrong way driver caused a vehicle collision on Highway 99 Monday afternoon.

Shortly before 4:00pm, authorities received a report from a motorist that a vehicle had entered the wrong way on Highway 99 from the Winton Parkway offramp. A witness had pulled over to call authorities to report the driver.

Within a few minutes, authorities were updated that the vehicle had collided into a big rig near the Liberty Avenue exit.

Details were scarce at time of publication, however early indications suggest authorities closed down the highway and took one person into custody. Several vehicles were involved in the collision, and one person was treated by an ambulance crew.

The crash was reported to result in minor to no injuries, and traffic was cleared to continue by about 4:30pm.

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Motorist Escapes Fiery Crash Near Ceres

Gaby Muro

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CERES – A motorist escaped a fiery crash with only minor injuries late Monday morning.

Officers with the California Highway Patrol were dispatched to the crash at about 11:22am. The collision happened on southbound Highway 99 just north of the Whitmore Avenue overcrossing.

The light colored sedan ran off the roadway and collided into a fence before catching fire. Emergency crews from Ceres and Modesto responded. The occupant was able to escape the fire with only minor injuries.

Traffic on the highway was slightly slowed while crews worked the crash scene. The vehicle was completely burned through.

By 12:30pm a tow truck had arrived to remove the vehicle.

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