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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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Three Killed in Fiery Crash With CHP Vehicle

Gaby Muro

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Photo: California Highway Patrol

WALNUT GROVE – Three people were killed in a fiery crash when their SUV collided with a CHP patrol vehicle Tuesday morning.

The crash happened at about 2:30am on Interstate 5 near Walnut Grove. A CHP patrol vehicle occupied by two officers was providing assistance to a disabled tractor trailer on the southbound shoulder. Authorities said for unknown reasons, a 2021 Subaru SUV left the roadway and struck the patrol car, sending it down into the dirt. The Subaru then crashed into a tree where it caught fire.

The three occupants of the Subaru were killed in the crash. The two CHP officers were taken to a hospital with major injuries.

A CHP team responded to investigate the crash. Late Tuesday morning one lane was still closed for investigation. It was unknown if alcohol or drug impairment played a role in the collision.

Authorities would like to remind motorists to safely make a lane change for stopped emergency vehicles.

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Vehicle Collision Reported on Highway 33

Gaby Muro

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CROWS LANDING – Emergency crews responded to a report of a vehicle collision on Highway 33 Monday afternoon.

The crash was reported at about 3:13pm near the intersection of Highway 33 and Eastin Road in the town of Crows Landing. Early reports indicate three vehicles were involved with one person trapped in a vehicle.

At least two patients were said to require immediate care. Firefighters worked to extricate one motorist from a vehicle. An air ambulance was also dispatched to the scene.

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Pedestrian Killed in Turlock Crash

Carlos Rodriguez

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TURLOCK – A pedestrian was killed during a collision with a vehicle Monday morning.

The collision happened shortly before 7:00am near the intersection of West Monte Vista Avenue and Del’s Lane. Arriving officers located a 27 year old man in the roadway with major injuries. An officer and an off duty firefighter began performing CPR on the man, who was rushed by ambulance to a hospital where he later died.

The driver of the involved vehicle, a 2019 Chevrolet Tahoe, remained at the scene and cooperated with authorities during the investigation. Police said they do not suspect drugs, alcohol, or speed to be factors in the crash.

Authorities ask anyone with information regarding this collision to contact Officer Martin Marquez at (209) 668-5550 extension 6761.

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