A 68-year-old Atwater woman is dead, after a major collision involving three cars on Santa Fe Drive, east of Avenue 2.
The woman's name hasn't been released, pending notification of her family. A 72-year-old man also sustained major injuries from the crash, the California Highway Patrol reported.
The incident happened near Atwater after 19-year-old Jose Oseguera of Winton was speeding eastbound on Santa Fe Drive and lost control of his 1995 Chevy Camaro, according to CHP spokesman Shane Ferriera.
After passing another vehicle and losing control, Oseguera's car traveled into the westbound lane and into oncoming traffic, Ferriera said. The Camaro struck two cars traveling westbound on Santa Fe Drive -- a 1993 Toyota Camry and a 2003 Toyota Avalon, both of which were traveling 55 mph.
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Atwater resident Paul Garrett, 72, who was driving the Camry, suffered major injuries. His passenger, an unidentified 68-year-old woman, sustained fatal injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene.
The two occupants of the Toyota Avalon, a 59-year-old woman and a 61-year-old man- sustained minor injuries. Oseguera suffered moderate injuries as was transported to Mercy Medical Center Merced.
The eastbound lanes of Santa Fe Drive were closed for nearly three hours, as CHP investigators studied the scene. Ferriera said the road was wet when the collision happened.
Neither alcohol or drugs appears to be a factor in the collision, Ferriera said.
Reporter Victor A. Patton can be reached at (209) 385-2431 or email@example.com.