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Driver vanishes after speeding car crashes into canal in Merced County, CHP says

Driver vanishes after speeding car crashes into canal outside Turlock, CHP says

A car landed in a canal Thursday outside Turlock moments after a witness spotted it speeding down the road, the California Highway Patrol reported.
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A car landed in a canal Thursday outside Turlock moments after a witness spotted it speeding down the road, the California Highway Patrol reported.

A car landed in a canal Thursday in Merced County outside of Turlock moments after a witness spotted it speeding down the road, the California Highway Patrol reported.

But when the car was pulled from the fast-moving waters, there was nobody inside and the car’s doors were closed.

CHP Officer Eric Zuniga said the crash was reported at 3:23 p.m. Thursday and officers discovered a Chevrolet Camaro located in a Turlock Irrigation District canal near the intersection of West Harding Road and Griffith Road.

Zuniga said the owner of a nearby home told authorities they witnessed the car traveling at a high rate of speed before hearing a crash. According to authorities, the water in the canal is estimated to be about 10 to 15 feet deep.

Nearby neighbor J.D. Arnold said he heard a car traveling fast and looked out his window to see a cloud of dust before the car went into the canal. He went outside and saw the car in the canal.

“I didn’t see anybody leave or get out of it,” he said. “I don’t know how he got out so fast. He was gone.”

The registration for the car was traced back to a man in Tracy, Zuniga said, but the man claimed to have sold the car to a dealership in Merced a few years ago. The tags had been expired for several years.

The Merced County Sheriff’s Office dive team was initially called in to search the water. According to Deputy Daryl Allen, divers did not execute a search Thursday as there appeared to be no evidence that anyone was in the canal.

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