A Le Grand High School student killed in a crash in Planada was identified Tuesday by the Merced County Coroner’s Office.
Juan Diego Rodriguez Contreras, 17, was killed Saturday when the 1998 Toyota Camry he was driving crashed into a railroad tank car near Planada, the California Highway Patrol reported.
Rodriguez Contreras’ name was released Tuesday by the Coroner’s Office. He was a junior at Le Grand High, authorities have said.
The crash occurred about 3:40 a.m. near Santa Fe Drive and Childs Avenue. Investigators said he was driving at a “very high rate of speed” at the time of the crash. His vehicle was split in half on impact, the CHP reported.
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The cause of the crash remains under investigation.
Officer Moises Onsurez said investigators are looking for anyone with information, especially regarding Rodriguez Contreras’ whereabouts in the hours leading up to the crash.
“Any information about where he was coming from or where he was going, any witnesses to the crash, all that would be very helpful to the investigators,” Onsurez told the Sun-Star on Tuesday. “We’re hoping they can reach out to us and let us know.”
Investigators are asking anyone with information about the crash or victim to contact the Merced-area CHP office at 209-356-2956.