LOS BANOS — A man is dead and two others are in the hospital following a solo-vehicle crash on Highway 152 during commute hours Monday morning.
California Highway Patrol spokesman Matt Pinheiro said Joshua Burke, 21, of Garden Grove was driving a 2004 GMC utility truck westbound in the fast lane west of Box Car Road at 6:59 a.m. when the vehicle veered to the right and hit a guard rail. Pinheiro said the truck became briefly went airborne and landed on the side of an irrigation canal.
Pinheiro said Burke and his two passengers, Eric Rodriguez, 21, of Long Beach and a 35-year-old male from Murietta were trapped in the truck, which caught fire in its engine compartment after the crash. The 35-year-old was pronounced dead at the scene. His name is being withheld by law enforcement until his family is notified.
"Some bystanders tried to help before the fire department arrived," Pinheiro said.
Christina Glick was one such bystander. Glick said she attempted to get motorists to stop and help put out the fire. She said she also tried to comfort one of the men.
"He was scared,” Glick said. "He probably thought he was going to die from the fire."
Pinheiro said Burke was airlifted to Memorial Medical Center in Modesto and Rodriguez was taken to Community Regional Medical Center in Fresno. Both men are suffering from major injuries, including burns on various parts of their bodies.
Enterprise staff writer Corey Pride can be reached at 388-6563 or firstname.lastname@example.org.