Two fatal collisions within 12 hours on Highway 99 in Turlock, CHP reports

Two fatal crashes happened on Highway 99 in Turlock within 12 hours Sunday, according to the California Highway Patrol.

Officers were dispatched to the first one about 2:30 a.m., CHP Modesto office spokesman Officer Tom Olsen said Sunday afternoon.

In that crash, the driver of a 2002 Chevrolet Tahoe was in the middle northbound lane, at West Monte Vista Avenue, when for undermined reasons he veered right sharply and left the east edge of the road.

The SUV went down an embankment, overturning and coming to rest on its roof, Olsen said. The driver, who was not wearing his seat belt, was ejected onto the Monte Vista on-ramp to the highway.

The driver, 29-year-old Luis Rudolfo Mojarro of Lodi, was taken to Emanuel Medical Center, where he died, Olsen said.

Mojarro had a passenger, 21-year-old Fernando Herrera, also of Lodi. He was wearing his seat belt, Olsen said, but suffered major injuries including broken ribs, back, scapula and right hand and a possible skull fracture. He was taken to Doctors Medical Center in Modesto for treatment.

The investigation has yet to determine whether drugs or alcohol were factors in the crash, Olsen said.

Sunday’s second fatal crash was about 1:40 p.m. on southbound Highway 99 at the West Taylor Road off-ramp.

The CHP’s online Traffic Incident Information Page says a white Cadillac sedan struck a pedestrian. It says the vehicle came to a stop in the center divide and the person killed was lying on the roadside.

No additional information on that crash was available Sunday afternoon.

Olsen said the two crashes are the 69th and 70th fatalities investigated by the Modesto office this year. That number far surpasses the 45 investigated in 2020, he said, with still more than a month left of 2021.

Unfortunately, Olsen said, the Modesto-area fatalities are consistent with a “major uptick” seen across all CHP offices this year.