Ex-owner of well-known Patterson car dealership killed in crash on Pacheco Pass

The man killed Tuesday in a car crash on Pacheco Pass was identified as 59-year-old Rick Schiltz, a City of Patterson economic strategic commissioner and former owner of the McAuley Ford Patterson car dealership.

Schiltz was driving a white sedan at about 9 a.m. east on Highway 152, east of Dinosaur Point Road, at an unknown speed when the vehicle made an unsafe turning movement, according to a California Highway Patrol incident report.

The vehicle left the roadway, traveled 200 feet down an embankment and caught fire, the report states.

Schiltz, who was identified Wednesday by the Merced County Sheriff-Coroner’s Office as the driver, was thrown from the car and died at the scene, the CHP said.

Oscar Salas, a service manager at McAuley Ford, said staff at the dealership were notified Schiltz was killed in the crash late Wednesday morning.

“Everybody is shocked,” Salas said, noting Schiltz recently retired and sold his ownership stake in the dealership.

Schiltz led the dealership for more than 20 years and “did a lot for the community,” Salas said.

He was involved with the Patterson Rotary Club as a board member, according to the Patterson Irrigator. Schiltz was most recently listed as a member of the City of Patterson Economic Strategic Commission.

Vikaas Shanker is an award-winning reporter covering education, crime and courts for the Merced Sun-Star and Los Banos Enterprise. After growing up in Naperville, Illinois and graduating from the University of Kansas, he reported in several Chicago suburbs before moving to Merced County in 2016.