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Toddler killed in Ballico accident

BALLICO -- The toddler killed in a traffic accident Sunday evening has been identified as 2-year-old Jose Aguirre Jr. of Winton, California Highway Patrol officials said Monday.

The accident occurred about 6:20 p.m. when Jose was riding his tricycle in the driveway of a house on Bradbury Road north of Santa Fe Drive in the Ballico area, according to CHP reports.

Jose's 21-year-old sister, Patricia Diaz, backed up her 1999 Dodge Durango and was making a turn to head out of the driveway, police said, and did not see the boy.

CHP reports said when the toddler struck the right rear tire of the Durango, Diaz felt the impact and stopped her vehicle.

The toddler suffered major injuries, according to CHP reports, and Diaz and her father took him to Emanuel Medical Center in Turlock. Jose died of his injuries Sunday night at the hospital.

"It's beyond tragic," said CHP spokesman Shane Ferriera. "You just feel for the family when something like this happens."

The collision remains under investigation. Alcohol was not a factor in the accident, Ferriera said.

Funeral arrangements were pending Monday.

Through a family friend, family members said the boy was always happy and hugged his mother and father every day. The boy is survived by his mother, Marie Diaz; his father, Jose Aguirre; four stepsisters, Jessica, Patricia, Joanna and Daisy Diaz; and a sister, Corina Aguirre.

Associate Editor Doane Yawger can be reached at 209 385-2485 or dyawger@mercedsun-star.com. Reporter Leslie Albrecht contributed to this report.

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