Afternoon Newsletter

Fatality identified in Winton crash

A 56-year-old Winton woman killed in a fatal two-vehicle crash Jan. 26 has been identified as Patricia Houlihan, according to the Merced County Coroner's Office.

The crash was reported at 9:11 a.m. on Winton Way near Gertrude Avenue, according to officer Jason Schoonhoven, California Highway Patrol spokesman.

Stephanie Gonzales, 28, of Winton, was driving a black 2007 Lincoln MKZ westbound on Gertrude Avenue, and had stopped on Winton Way. Inside Gonzales' car was 7-year-old passenger Richard Gomez.

Meanwhile, Maryann Houlihan, 78, of Winton, was driving a silver 1991 Hyundai southbound on Winton Way in the No. 2 lane. Patricia Houlihan was a passenger in her car.

For unknown reasons, Gonzales entered the intersection directly in front of the Hyundai. The driver of the Hyundai was unable to avoid a crash, colliding into the Lincoln's right side, Schoonhoven said.

Gonzales, the driver of the Lincoln, lost control, crashing into a fence. The Hyundai was disabled in the southbound lane of Winton Way.

Gonzales suffered no injuries, and the boy suffered minor injuries. Both were taken to Mercy Medical Center Merced.

Maryann Houlihan was taken to Doctors Medical Center in Modesto with moderate injuries. Patricia Houlihan died from her injuries.

Schoonhoven said DUI is not believed to be a factor in the crash, which remains under investigation.