State

Separate crashes take lives of Modesto, Turlock drivers

A Modesto man and a Turlock man died in two single-vehicle crashes that occurred within hours of each other in Stanislaus County, according to the California Highway Patrol.

Authorities did not release the names of the two men pending family notification. CHP officials believe alcohol and drugs may have been factors in the crashes.

The first crash occurred about 8:15 p.m. Thursday on Claribel Road, just east of Coffee Road and about a mile north of Modesto.

The 48-year-old Modesto man was driving a 1997 Toyota Corolla on Claribel. Sergey Gottuyanitsa, 24, of Modesto, was riding in the front passenger seat.

The driver of the Toyota failed to stop for a stop sign at Coffee Road, according to the CHP. The car went through the intersection, went off the road's south side, turned back to the left and traveled across Claribel before hitting a utility pole.

The car spun as it struck the pole. Damage was centered on the driver's side.

The CHP said the driver was not wearing a seat belt and was ejected from the car onto the road.

The driver was taken by ambulance to Memorial Medical Center, where he died from his injuries. Gottuyanitsa was wearing a seat belt and was not injured.

CHP investigators believe the driver was under the influence of methamphetamine and that the drug was a possible factor in the crash. Investigators were awaiting toxicology results before determining the cause of the crash.

2nd wreck west of Turlock

The second crash occurred about 2:20 a.m. Friday on South Central Avenue, just south of West Main Street and a few miles west of Turlock.

A 23-year-old Turlock man was driving a 1993 Honda Accord north on South Central Avenue. There were no passengers in the car.

The car went off the west side of the road, struck a utility pole, traveled back onto Central Avenue and rolled several times, according to the CHP.

The CHP said the driver was wearing his seat belt, but he suffered fatal injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene.

CHP investigators believe alcohol or drugs may have been a factor in the crash.

Investigators were awaiting toxicology results before determining the cause.

Bee staff writer Rosalio Ahumada can be reached at rahumada@modbee.com or 578-2394.

  Comments