UPDATE: Major injuries reported in Highway 99 crash

04/04/2013 8:18 AM

04/04/2013 6:19 PM

A 21-year-old Atwater woman received major injuries Thursday morning after a crash involving a big rig and two cars on southbound Highway 99 near Atwater.

The crash was reported at 7:25 a.m. near Bert Crane Road. Maria Mota, 21, of Atwater was driving a 2006 BMW on northbound Highway 99, south of Bert Crane Road.

For unknown reasons, Mota lost control of her car and traveled through the center median, directly into the path of a 2005 Cadillac traveling southbound in the No. 1 lane, driven by Vincente Ponce Jr., 36, of Ceres, according to CHP spokesman Jason Schoonhoven.

Ponce turned his vehicle to the left, trying to avoid a collision, but the front of his car crashed into the back of Mota's vehicle.

The crash caused Mota’s vehicle to become disabled in the No. 3 lane of southbound Highway 99, directly in front of a big rig, driven by Gregory Rodgers, 50, of Livermore. Rodgers was unable to avoid crashing into Mota’s car, according to the CHP.

The big rig and Mota’s car came to a rest on the right shoulder of the southbound side of the highway.

Mota was taken to Doctors Medical Center in Modesto with major injuries. One of the passengers inside the Cadillac, 72-year-old Maria Hernandez, was taken to Emanuel Medical Center for minor injuries.

Ponce and Rodgers also received minor injuries.

DUI does not appear to be a factor in the crash, which remains under investigation.

City Editor Victor A. Patton can be reached at (209) 385-2431 or vpatton@mercedsun-star.com.

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