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Man Arrested on DUI, Child Endangerment Charges After Fatal Hit and Run

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MODESTO – Authorities arrested a 34 year old man on several charges including DUI after a fatal hit and run crash Sunday night.

At about 11:00pm officers with the Modesto Police Department responded to a report of a pedestrian struck by a vehicle near the intersection of 16th and Burney Streets. Arriving officers found a man suffering from major injuries. Witnesses report the man was lighting fireworks in the roadway. Life saving efforts were performed, but the man died from his injuries at the scene.

Police say the involved driver called to report he believed he collided with a person while driving north on Burney Street. The driver said he was distracted by fireworks at the time.

Officers responded and met with the driver, and determined he was driving under the influence and may have been speeding at the time of the crash. Officials said he also had his 12 year old child in the vehicle at the time of the collision.

A witness who rushed to help the victim described the scene as chaotic and heartbreaking.

“I heard the sound of fireworks and silence, and right after that screaming,” the witness said. She rushed over to the victim and began performing CPR until first responders arrived.

After a sobriety test, 34 year old Jesus Lemus of Modesto was arrested and charged with DUI while causing great bodily injury, child abuse, gross vehicular manslaughter, and felony hit and run.

Authorities would like to remind motorists to designate a sober driver, slow down and avoid distractions.

Anyone with information regarding this case is encouraged to contact Officer Raduechel at raduechelr@modestopd.com 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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Fatal Crash Reported West of Modesto

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STANISLAUS COUNTY – At least one person lost their life in a vehicle collision on Highway 132 Tuesday afternoon.

Firefighters and officers with the California Highway Patrol were dispatched to the area of Highway 132 and Gates Road at about 6:11pm. A big rig and a Honda Civic were both involved in the collision and came to rest on the northeast corner of the intersection.

One person was trapped in one of the vehicles and had to be removed by rescue personnel. At about 6:45pm the coroner was requested to the scene.

The truck was hauling soda. Eastbound lanes were unaffected by traffic, one westbound lane appeared closed for emergency equipment. Gates Road was closed while the collision was under investigation.

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Pedestrian Suffers Major Injuries in Collision

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MODESTO – A pedestrian was rushed to a hospital with major injuries Tuesday evening after a vehicle collision.

The crash happened at about 5:51pm near the intersection of Paradise Road and Harris Avenue. Emergency crews arrived and found the pedestrian down in the roadway. They were rushed to a hospital with major injuries and in unknown condition.

Police and CHP officers closed the road to investigate the collision. Early indications suggest the involved driver remained at the scene.

No further details were available at time of publication.

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North Modesto Fatal Crash Investigated

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MODESTO – Officers with the California Highway Patrol investigated a fatal crash Tuesday morning that claimed the life of one motorist.

The crash happened near the intersection of Patterson Road and Skittone Road at about 9:43am. According to Officer Thomas Olsen with the California Highway Patrol, a Honda sedan traveling westbound on Patterson Road was stopped at the intersection to make a turn onto Skittone Road. A white Ford SUV approaching the Honda also westbound was unable to stop. The driver attempted to swerve, rolling the vehicle into the oncoming lane. A Chevrolet SUV traveling eastbound struck the Ford as it rolled.

The driver of the Ford died of her injuries at the scene. She was identified only as a woman in her 60’s or possibly older.

The driver of the Honda appeared uninjured. The driver of the Chevrolet SUV and her three children were taken by ambulance to hospitals. Two children were taken to Doctors Medical Center, the third to Memorial.

Officer Olsen explained that had the children not been properly restrained, the crash would have had a much worse outcome.

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