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Victim of weekend big rig crash identified

Edward Walker, 40, of Atwater, has been identified as the person killed Friday afternoon when the pickup he was riding in collided with a big rig on Turlock Road, east of Looney Road in the Snelling area.

Walker died at the scene of the 12:45 p.m. accident. An electrician with Brite Electric in Turlock, Walker was a native of San Jose who had lived in Atwater for six years, said his sister Lori Walker.

Walker was on the way to a job site when the accident occurred, his sister said. A person who liked to make people laugh, Walker also volunteered regularly at Thomas Olaeta Elementary School where his 6-year-old son, Edward James Walker Jr., was a student.

California Highway Patrol officers said Walker was a passenger in a 1990 Chevrolet pickup driven by Jesus Contreras, 34, of Turlock, which collided with a big rig operated by Victor Vasquez, 33, of Turlock.

For unknown reasons, Contreras' eastbound pickup crossed over the double yellow line of Turlock Road, hitting Vasquez' westbound rig head-on. Contreras and Vasquez were taken to Emanuel Medical Center in Turlock for minor injuries, said CHP spokesman Shane Ferriera

A memorial trust for Walker's son has been set up at Citibank in Atwater, Account No. 40045235765, Lori Walker said.

Walker is survived by his son; his mother, Lydia Walker, of Atwater; and two sisters, Lori Walker, of Chino Hills, and Christina Walker, of San Jose.

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