Interstate 5 accident near Santa Nella claims 4 lives

June 27, 2013

SANTA NELLA — A vehicle crash last week shattered a family from Chile headed to celebrate years of hard work. Four people were killed in the head-on crash June 21 on Interstate 5 near Santa Nella.

The accident occurred at 4:34 p.m. when a northbound 2002 Toyota driven by Kevin McDade, 29, of Los Angeles, on Interstate 5 reportedly crossed over the center median into southbound traffic.

The Toyota, which had no passengers, hit a 2014 Ford Taurus, driven by Fernando Mardones Sr. The car was carrying five people in addition to the driver.

McDade, Mardones Sr. and the front seat passenger in the Ford, Loyola Loreto,were killed. Mardones Sr. 62, and Maria Loreto Loyola, 61, were from Nuñoa, Santiago, Chile. Loreto Godoy, 32, of Davis, who was also a passenger in the Ford, was airlifted to Memorial Medical Center in Modesto. She also died from her injuries.

Fernando O. Mardones, 36, also of Davis, and his wife, Godoy, their two daughters and Mardones' parents, were headed south for a vacation after Mardones and Godoy took part in the graduate-studies commencement at the University of California at Davis. Mardones and Godoy were close to completing doctorates in epidemiology and infectious disease and conservation ecology, respectively. Both were affiliated with the university's School of Veterinary Medicine.

Mardones and Godoy's children survived and were airlifted to Community Regional Medical Center in Fresno. The infant suffered moderate injuries and the 4-year-old had major injuries. Madrones was treated for moderate injuries at Memorial Hospital, Los Banos.

Mardones and Godoy each received a master's degree in preventive veterinary medicine from UC Davis (Mardones in 2007, Godoy in 2009), the university said.

In his doctoral work at the veterinary school, Mardones studied epidemiology and infectious disease. He served as president of the Epidemiology Graduate Students Group, according to the news release. Godoy studied conservation ecology for her doctorate.

Enterprise staff writer Corey Pride can be reached at 388-6563 or The Modesto Bee contributed to this report.

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