Chowchilla man, 27, is killed in collision with parked big rig

vpatton@mercedsunstar.comMarch 7, 2013 

— A 27-year-old Chowchilla man was killed in a crash Wednesday after his Nissan Pathfinder crashed into a parked big rig on Maple Street east of Yates Avenue, the California Highway Patrol reported.

The victim has been identified as Carlos Rodriguez Castellon, 27, according to the Madera County coroner's office.

According to the CHP, evidence at the scene indicates Castellon may have been composing a text message on his cell phone at the time of the collision.

The incident was reported at 3:15 p.m.

The victim was driving west on Maple Street, east of Yates Avenue, traveling about 40 mph, when his car veered to the left and struck the left rear of the parked big rig, according to CHP.

The victim was wearing a seat belt but sustained blunt force trauma from the vehicle's steering wheel. A medical rescue helicopter responded to the scene, but the victim died before he could be taken to a hospital, the CHP said.

The victim may have been driving under the influence, in addition to composing a cell phone text message, the CHP reported. Officers said they found open containers of alcohol and drug paraphernalia inside the car.

The crash remains under investigation.

City Editor Victor A. Patton can be reached at (209) 385-2431 or vpatton@mercedsunstar.com.

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