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Ceres Woman Faces Charges in Fatal Oakdale Crash

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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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Crash Claims Two Lives in Modesto

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MODESTO – Briggsmore Avenue was closed for several hours while Modesto Police Officers investigated a crash that claimed two lives early Sunday morning.

The crash happened shortly after 1:00am on Briggsmore Avenue east of Oakdale Road. Early reports indicated a vehicle had overturned and landed upside down.

Arriving emergency personnel located the vehicle and two persons that had been ejected from the crash. Both were pronounced deceased at the scene.

Investigators were called to the scene to determine the cause and circumstances of the crash.

Anyone with information regarding the collision is encouraged to contact the Modesto Police Department.

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Bicyclist Killed, Police Investigate

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MODESTO – Police investigated a fatal collision involving a bicyclist Saturday night.

The crash happened shortly before 9:30pm near the intersection of Orangeburg and Lakewood Avenues. Early reports indicate a bicyclist was struck by a vehicle.

Arriving officers located the victim down in the roadway and began performing life-saving measures. Despite efforts, medical personnel pronounced the bicyclist deceased at the scene.

Early reports indicate the involved vehicle fled the collision scene. There was no confirmed description of that vehicle or driver at time of publication.

Police closed off Lakewood just north of Orangeburg in both directions while conducting an investigation.

Anyone with information regarding this collision is encouraged to contact the Modesto Police Department or Crime Stoppers at (209) 521-4636 where callers can remain anonymous.

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Fatal Collision Investigated

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MODESTO – Officers with the California Highway Patrol investigated a crash that claimed the life of one person Wednesday night.

The crash happened at about 7:40pm near the intersection of Paradise Road and Vernon Avenue. Arriving first responders located a dirt bike rider with major injuries. The rider was pronounced deceased at the scene.

The intersection was closed while authorities investigated the crash. The dirt bike was described as a Honda 125.

During the investigation, CHP issued a “Be on the Lookout” for a dark unknown type passenger vehicle with substantial damage to the right side.

Paramedics with American Medical Response and firefighters with Burbank-Paradise Fire Protection District responded to the scene.

Anyone with information regarding this crash is encouraged to contact the California Highway Patrol at (209) 545-7440.

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