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Pedestrian gets airlifted after collision

James Kinser, 28, of Merced, was listed in critical condition in a Modesto hospital after he was struck Monday night by a van at Park Avenue and St. Michelle Drive.

Kinser was being treated for major head injuries at Doctors Medical Center of Modesto where he was airlifted following the 5:36 p.m. accident. Lt. Matt Williams of the Merced Police Department said witnesses told officers Kinser appeared to be intoxicated and walked into the path of the van.

There is no indication that Humberto Turcios, driver of the 1998 Ford Windstar van, was speeding. Witnesses estimated his speed at 25 mph when he hit Kinser, who struck the van's windshield. Kinser had been walking northbound in the 2800 block of Park Avenue when he stepped into the path of the vehicle, according to Williams.

Riggs Ambulance Service personnel stabilized Kinser and drove him to Merced High School where he was airlifted to the Modesto hospital about 15 minutes after the accident.

Associate Editor Doane Yawger can be reached at 209-385-2485 or