Four injured in Olive Avenue crash

Four people were taken to the hospital after two vehicles collided about 1:30 p.m. Tuesday on West Olive Avenue.

All four are expected to recover, police said. Drugs or alcohol weren't a factor in the collision.

The accident happened when Dos Palos resident Ryan Hart, 22, was trying to turn into the Merced Mall from the eastbound left turn lane of West Olive Avenue in his blue 1997 Nissan Altima, said officer Richard Morgan of the Merced Police Department's traffic division.

Hart failed to yield to a silver 2005 GMC Yukon headed west on West Olive Avenue by Michelle Aranciba, 60, Morgan said.

Aranciba told police she was going about 40 mph, couldn't tell the other driver was going to turn in front of her and wasn't able to avoid the collision, Morgan said.

Melody Benevides, a 20-year-old passenger in the Altima, was pinned in the car for about 10 minutes while the Merced Fire Department used the Jaws of Life to get her out, according to the Merced Police Department.

She was flown to a trauma center by Medi-Flight, police said.

Hart was taken to Mercy Medical Center by Riggs Ambulance Service after complaining of abdominal pain, police said.

Aranciba was taken to Mercy Medical Center by Riggs with visible injuries to her left leg, police said.

A 2-year-old girl in the Altima was taken to Mercy for precautionary reasons, police said. She was properly restrained in a child safety seat when the crash happened, police said.

Police ask anyone with information about the incident to call traffic Sgt. Jay Struble at (209) 385-4739 or the Merced Police Department Tipster Line at (209) 385-4725. The public can send information via anonymous text message to "TIP411." Include the word "ComVIP" as the keyword in the message.

Reporter Mike North can be reached at (209) 385-2453 or mnorth@mercedsun-star.com.