Girl killed in Los Banos area crash identified

Girl dies in fatal crash north of Los Banos

CHP Los Banos Sgt. Ryan Swafford explains the details of a fatal crash Friday, July 21, 2017, off Henry Miller Road.
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CHP Los Banos Sgt. Ryan Swafford explains the details of a fatal crash Friday, July 21, 2017, off Henry Miller Road.

The person killed in a single vehicle crash Friday north of Los Banos has been identified as 14-year-old Jacqueline Sanchez of Stockton.

Sanchez was killed around 6:45 p.m. Friday when the vehicle in which she was riding crashed on Henry Miller Road, east of Mercey Springs Road, according to the California Highway Patrol.

Her name was confirmed Saturday by the Merced County Coroner’s Office.

Merced County Sheriff Vern Warnke said Sanchez wasn’t wearing a seatbelt when she was ejected through the back window of a white Buick Century as it crashed and rolled over off the south end of Henry Miller Road, east of Mercey Springs Road.

A Fresno girl also riding in the vehicle without a seatbelt, whose age was withheld but was confirmed to be a minor, suffered major leg injuries, California Highway Patrol Los Banos Officer Chris Smith said. She was previously reported to have suffered lacerations to her legs.

The driver of the vehicle was Sanchez’s sister, an 18-year-old Stockton woman whose name was being withheld pending confirmation that her family was notified, Smith said.

The driver suffered minor injuries and was wearing a seatbelt, Smith said.

According to CHP, the car was traveling west Friday evening when it veered onto the right shoulder.

The driver over-corrected the turn, which caused the vehicle to swerve across both lanes, crashing through a wire fence and overturning into a field south of the road, according to CHP.

Following the crash, the driver was detained by law enforcement and led into an ambulance after being agitated and combative, screaming that her sister was dead as officers tried to calm her down.

CHP did not indicate Saturday whether any of the occupants had been arrested.

Smith said several people contacted the CHP Saturday about a graphic video circulating through social media that appears to show the driver filming video before, during and after the crash.

Smith said CHP, as of Saturday night, hadn’t determined whether the video is authentic and connected to the crash. But officers were in the process of obtaining and examining the video as part of the ongoing investigation.

Vikaas Shanker: 209-826-3831, ext. 6562