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Man killed in crash with tanker

HILMAR -- A head-on crash between a compact sedan and a milk tanker truck late Monday morning resulted in the death of a 53-year-old Stevinson man and the closure of Highway 165 near Hilmar for about three hours.

In a separate accident Sunday afternoon near Chowchilla, a 62-year-old Clovis man was killed in a single-vehicle rollover.

California Highway Patrol Officer Luis Lara said the Stevinson man, who was not identified, was driving a 1991 Oldsmobile Cutlass sedan southbound on Highway 165, just south of Williams Avenue, when it drifted into the northbound lanes into the path of the milk tanker driven by Rene Calderon, 31, of Delhi. Calderon was not hurt.

Lara said witnesses placed the tanker truck's speed at 50 to 55 mph, but it was unknown how fast the Oldsmobile was traveling before impact. The tanker truck's left front tire passed over the hood, driver area and trunk of the compact in the 11:40 a.m. crash, crushing it.

Highway 165 was blocked from Williams to Crane avenues for three hours. No milk was spilled from the tanker, which belongs to Ruan Trucking.

The cause of the collision remains under investigation and alcohol does not appear to be a factor in the wreck, officers said.

In the 1:20 p.m. Sunday accident on Highway 99 south of Robertson Boulevard in Chowchilla, Paul Richard Bailey, 62, of Clovis, died and his passenger, Vinna Kin Wah Bailey, 60, of Clovis, was taken to Madera Community Hospital in Madera for treatment of moderate injuries.

Bailey was southbound on Highway 99 in the slow lane at an unknown rate of speed. The 2006 Mazda Tribute drifted onto the shoulder, Bailey overcorrected and the vehicle struck a large tree. The force of the impact caused the vehicle to overturn, land on its left side and hit a second tree.

Alcohol does not appear to be a factor and seat belts were in use, officers said.

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

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