Two hospitalized after head-on collision on 16th Street

A car accident Thursday evening sent two people, including a 6-year-old, to area hospitals with major injuries.

The accident occurred at 5:07 p.m. on 16th Street, west of Ashby Road, the California Highway Patrol said.

Michael Hollenhorst, 27, of Turlock, was driving a 1999 Toyota Corolla eastbound on 16th Street when it drifted into the westbound lane and struck the driver's side of an oncoming 2004 GMC Yukon driven by Luis Gordiano, 35, of Merced, the CHP said.

The Yukon traveled to the north side of the road where it struck a concrete bridge piller on the passenger side. Damian Gordiano, 15, of Merced, was in the front passenger seat of the Yukon and suffered major injuries. He was taken via air ambulance to Doctors Medical Center in Modesto. Miguelito Valencia, 6, in the right rear passenger seat, also suffered major injuries and was transported to Memorial Medical Center in Modesto, the CHP said.

Four other passengers in the Yukon, including three children, suffered minor injuries and were taken to Mercy Medical Center Merced. Hollenhorst suffered minor injuries and declined treatment. A passenger in the Corolla was uninjured.

Police reported alcohol was not a factor in the crash and it remains under investigation.

-- Amy Starnes