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Medical van overturns; woman transported to hospital after collision

A courier for a medical lab was injured Tuesday afternoon when her van was struck by a sport-utility vehicle and overturned at 26th and Canal streets.

Officer Craig McKeeman of the Merced Police Department said Bruceen Norton, 58, of Soulsbyville, was taken to the Community campus of Mercy Medical Center Merced by ambulance for treatment of back and leg pain.

The Quest Diagnostics van she was operating collided with a 1993 Ford Explorer driven by Sebastian Hernandez, 20, of Merced, at 12:54 p.m. According to police, Hernandez stopped for the stop sign at 26th Street but proceeded into the path of the Norton van, which was southbound on Canal Street.

Hernandez' SUV hit the right rear of the Norton van, which spun and then overturned onto its top.

McKeeman said all of the blood specimens and medical records were transferred to other labs for safekeeping. Norton told officers she saw the car enter the intersection and swerved to miss it but could not avoid the collision.

She had just left the Dominican campus of Mercy Medical Center Merced when the accident happened.

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