A 50-year-old Winton man suffered major injuries Thursday during a head-on collision with a big rig on Highway 59, the California Highway Patrol reported.
David Yarbrough was flown to a Modesto hospital after the crash, Officer Moises Onsurez said. The driver of the truck, 32-year-old Juan Joseph Avila of Ceres, was not injured, the CHP said.
Officer Octavio Martinez, the lead investigator, reported the crash at 2:22 p.m. on Highway 59, south of Oakdale Road, according to the CHP.
Officers said Yarbrough was heading north in a 1991 Chevrolet pickup truck at about 55 mph when his vehicle crossed the center median and collided head-on with Avila’s 2003 Freightliner truck.
“The second driver (Avila) tried to avoid the collision, but was unable to avoid it,” Onsurez said. Avila managed to get his truck to the side of the roadway after the collision, authorities said.
Neither drugs nor alcohol appear to have been factors, investigators said, but it remained unclear why Yarbrough’s pickup truck crossed into the oncoming southbound lanes of the highway.
“The investigating officer will go to the hospital to try to get a statement from the driver (Yarbrough),” Onsurez said, “but, it’s too early to know what may have caused this.”
Both southbound lanes of Highway 59 were closed for about 30 minutes after the collision and traffic was diverted to Bellevue Avenue, the CHP said.
All the traffic lanes were reopened just before 4 p.m., Onsurez said.