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Turlock Police Arrest Suspect in Fatal Hit and Run Case

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TURLOCK – Police announced the arrest of a 22 year old man they said was involved in a hit and run collision that claimed the life of a bicyclist Monday morning.

The crash happened on the 400 block of Lander Avenue shortly after 12:30am. Police received several calls regarding a bicyclist that was struck by a vehicle that fled the scene. Police and medical personnel tried to save the bicyclist’s life, but he later died at a local hospital. He was identified as 50 year old Juan Moralez of Turlock.

Witnesses followed the vehicle, a 2009 GMC pickup, and tried to get the driver to stop. The driver continued to flee until crashing on Crows Landing Road. The pickup overturned into a field across from a convenience store, damaging a utility pole. The driver fled on foot and was not immediately apprehended.

The investigation led detectives to 22 year old Francisco Javier Castellon-Gonzalez of Modesto. He was determined to be the driver involved in the crash after being contacted by police. Castellon-Gonzalez agreed to be interviewed by investigators to provide a statement, and was booked into the Stanislaus County Jail on charges of hit and run causing injury and vehicular manslaughter.

Authorities credit coordinated efforts between Turlock Police Detectives, members of the Special Investigations Unit and the Major Accident Investigation Team. The investigation laster over eighteen hours, officials said.

Anyone with information regarding this case is encouraged to contact Officer Richard Fortado at (209) 664-7399 or Crime Stoppers at (209) 521-4636 where callers can remain anonymous.

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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Update: Driver Arrested in Fatal Turlock Crash

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TURLOCK – The driver of a SUV that crashed Thursday night was arrested and charged in the death of his wife, authorities said Friday.

The crash happened at about 10:37pm on the southbound lanes of Highway 99 just south of the Monte Vista Avenue onramp. The California Highway Patrol said 35 year old Luis Rodriguez of Merced was driving a 2016 Ford Explorer when he lost control and traveled off the highway. The Explorer overturned into the right hand shoulder, ejecting the passenger. The passenger, a 31 year old woman identified as Rodriguez’s wife, was not wearing her seatbelt and was ejected from the vehicle. She died from her injuries at the scene.

Rodriguez was also not wearing his seatbelt and was trapped inside the vehicle. Firefighters used rescue tools to remove him from the vehicle. He was taken to Memorial Medical Center with major injuries including a compound fracture to the femur and arm.

The couple had their four children in the vehicle, aged six months, one, two, and three years old. All were properly restrained in the vehicle. Two children were taken to Memorial Medical Center and two were taken to Doctors Medical Center. American Medical Response personnel transported them all by ambulance as a precaution, however none were injured. In total, three ambulances and a medical helicopter responded. The helicopter was later canceled.

Turlock Fire Department responded with three engines, Squad 32 and a Chief Officer.

Officials said alcohol was presumed to be a factor in the crash, and Rodriguez was arrested.

Officers examine a Ford Explorer that crashed along Highway 99 near Turlock Thursday night.

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Fatal Crash Reported in Turlock

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TURLOCK – At least one person lost their life in a roll over collision on Highway 99 Thursday night.

The crash was dispatched by the California Highway Patrol at about 10:38pm on the southbound lanes of Highway 99 just south of the Monte Vista Avenue onramp. A silver Ford Explorer SUV landed on its roof on the right shoulder next to Pedretti Park.

Early reports indicate at least one occupant of the explorer died after being ejected from the vehicle. That person was just inside the fence line near the park. Another was trapped inside the vehicle and had to be removed using rescue tools according to the Turlock Fire Department.

Stanislaus County Coroner officials responded to the scene shortly before 12:30am.

Several other occupants of the SUV were rushed to hospitals with unspecified injuries. There were a total of six people in the SUV. The cause of the crash was under investigation.

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Fatal Motorcycle Crash Investigated Near Oakdale

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OAKDALE – A crash on Highway 120 closed the roadway and claimed the life of a motorcyclist Wednesday night.

The crash was reported on Highway 120 just north of Valley Home Road at about 9:52pm. Early reports indicate a motorcycle, Toyota Prius and a big rig were all involved in the crash. The Prius appeared overturned next to the motorcycle. The rider was ejected from the bike.

The roadway was completely closed to traffic while officers with California Highway Patrol investigated and took measurements. The circumstances surrounding the crash were not available at time of publication.

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