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Atwater man killed in head-on crash with semi

SNELLING -- A 32-year-old Atwater man died Friday when the pickup he was riding in collided headon with a truck-trailer rig on Turlock Road east of Looney Road, according to the California Highway Patrol.

The accident victim's name has not been released pending notification of next-of-kin by the coroner's office, according to CHP Officer Shane Ferriera, CHP spokesman. He was pronounced dead at the scene of the 12:45 p.m. accident.

The man was a passenger in a 1990 Chevrolet pickup driven by Jesus Contreras, 34, of Turlock, which collided with a 1993 Kenworth truck-tractor pulling two trailers driven by Victor Vasquez, 33, of Turlock.

Investigating officer Jeff Butticci said Contreras was eastbound on Turlock Road at unknown speed while Vasquez was westbound on Turlock Road at approximately 45 to 50 mph. For unknown reasons, Contreras crossed over the double yellow lines and into westbound lane while negotiating a curve in the road, hitting the big rig head-on.

Contreras and Vasquez received minor injuries and were taken by ambulance to Emanuel Medical Center in Turlock. The collision remains under investigation and alcohol was not a factor in the accident, Ferriera said.

Associate Editor Doane Yawger

can be reached at (209) 385-2485 or dyawger@mercedsun-star.com.

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