Two-car crash in Merced kills 9-year-old boy

A 9-year-old boy was killed Wednesday morning in a two-car collision on Yosemite Avenue near Paulson Road, Merced police reported.

The crash between a white Toyota Camry and black Nissan Altima happened around 10:15 a.m. Three people were injured, two of whom were flown to local hospitals. The corner's office identified the boy who was killed as Daniel Saucedo.

The collision happened in the 800 block of East Yosemite Avenue. Police say 18-year-old Nicholas Saucedo of Merced was driving the Altima eastbound on Yosemite Avenue. Meanwhile, 75-year-old Elaine Callis of Merced was driving the Camry westbound on Yosemite Avenue, according to Cmdr. Floyd Higdon.

For an unknown reason, Saucedo swerved and the Altima began skidding sideways into the westbound lane of traffic. The Altima crashed head-on into the Camry. The impact caused the Nissan to strike a tree on the north side of Yosemite Avenue and broadside a masonry wall.

Saucedo was conscious with a visible head wound when officers arrived at the scene. He and his 16-year-old male passenger, who was unconscious with visible head and leg injuries, were flown to a Modesto hospital.

The 9-year-old boy, who was a passenger in the Altima, was ejected from the car. He was found between the wall and the car's passenger side. He was taken to Mercy Medical Center Merced, where he was pronounced dead.

Callis was conscious and standing outside her car when officers arrived. She was taken by ambulance to a local hospital.

Higdon said the cause of the crash remains under investigation, adn it appears no one in the Altima was wearing a seat belt. Some witnesses said the driver of the Altima was speeding. It's unknown as yet whether DUI was a factor.

Merced police are asking witnesses or anyone with information to call Traffic Sgt. Jay Struble at (209) 385-4739, or the department's automated tipline at (209) 385-4725. Calls are kept confidential, and you can remain anonymous.

Reporter Victor A. Patton can be reached at (209) 385-2431 or vpatton@mercedsun-star.com