A three-vehicle accident on Highway 99 north of Westside Boulevard near Livingston on Friday afternoon resulted in major injuries to one of the drivers.
Several lanes were blocked and traffic was slowed for hours after the 12:45 p.m. crash.
Winton resident Candelaria Valencia, 28, was driving a 2007 Honda Accord south on Highway 99 at an unknown speed when her vehicle traveled across the center divide and spun counterclockwise for an unknown reason, said officer John Patterson, a spokesman for the California Highway Patrol.
Valencia's car then collided with a 1999 Kenworth tractor-and-trailer rig driven north at about 55 mph by 65-year-old Deane Nickleson of Kingsburg, Patterson said. The trailer was loaded with magazines.
When the right-front of the big rig hit the right-rear of Valencia's Honda, it broke "the car apart in two pieces from the rear seat back," Patterson said. The trunk area of the car was torn from the rest of the vehicle.
After spinning, Valencia's Honda went in front of a 2003 Jeep Cherokee driven by 71-year-old Henry Schacht out of Danville, Patterson said. The Jeep struck the Honda on the driver's side.
The Jeep and the Honda came to rest on the right shoulder of northbound Highway 99, Patterson said. The big rig went into the center divide and crossed over the southbound lanes of Highway 99 before hitting a chain-link fence and coming to rest against a dirt embankment on the right shoulder.
The cause of the accident is under investigation, Patterson said. The road was wet during the crash, but there were no reports of flooding.
Valencia was taken by helicopter to Doctors Medical Center in Modesto for treatment of major injuries.
There were minor injuries to Schacht and his passenger, 67-year-old Andree Schacht, the CHP reported. They were taken to Mercy Medical Center.
There were no injuries to Nickleson, who was driving the big rig, Patterson said. Several emergency agencies responded to the scene.
Patterson said there were several other accidents Friday during the rainy conditions.
Reporter Mike North can be reached at (209) 385-2453 or firstname.lastname@example.org.