One man killed, three others injured in head-on crash in Merced County

Merced Sun-Star file photo.
Merced Sun-Star file photo. tmiller@mercedsunstar.com

One man was killed and three others injured Thursday in a head-on crash near Atwater, according to authorities.

California Highway Patrol officers responded to a report of a head-on collision at about 6:10 a.m. in the area of Shaffer Road and Palm Avenue. According to CHP Officer Eric Zuniga, a 65-year-old Livingston man was killed when the Toyota Camry he was driving south on Shaffer road, collided head-on with a 2007 GMC Yukon driven by 19-year-old Uziel Martinez, of Merced.

Zuniga said Martinez was driving north on Shaffer Road and moved into the southbound lane while attempting to pass a Jeep Grand Cherokee driven by a 43-year-old Atwater man. While in the southbound lane, Martinez collided head-on with the Toyota Camry.

The driver of the Toyota was pronounced dead at the scene and three passengers in the GMC Yukon were transported by ground ambulance to a Modesto area hospital with injuries, Zuniga said.

According to Zuniga, weather conditions causing poor visibility were a factor in the crash. Zuniga cautioned motorists to slow down and to allow themselves extra time when driving in dense fog. Zuniga said that if motorists have to turn on their windshield wipers, they should also take the time to turn on their headlights.

Authorities said the crash is still under investigation and drugs or alcohol are not suspected to be a contributing factor.