Freeway crash injures man early Sunday morning

On Sunday, December 19th, 2020, at approximately 2:00 am, the California Highway Patrol Merced Communications Center received a call of an injury vehicle collision in the area of State Route 99 and W Main St. Modesto Area CHP officers were dispatched along with American Medical Response and the Turlock Fire Department with Battalion 4, Engine 31, Squad 32, and Engine 34.

Squad 32 arrived approximately 5 minutes after dispatched. Captain 32 reported a single vehicle on its side in the grass directly underneath the overpass with one patient still inside. Captain 32 assumed command in the investigation mode.

It was discovered that the patient was entrapped in the vehicle. Crews on Squad 32 used stabilization struts and heavy extrication equipment to free the patient. After being freed, he was transported by American Medical Response to a local area hospital with moderate injuries.

The California Highway Patrol in a statement said that Leonel Dias, 24, of Ceres, was driving his 2001 GMC SUV northbound on State Route 99 approaching W Main St. For unknown reasons, Dias allowed his vehicle to leave the east edge of the roadway. The vehicle then struck the metal bridge rail, continued down an embankment, where it came to rest in the grass just north of W Main St underneath the overpass. The California Highway Patrol further stated that the driver was wearing his seatbelt at the time of the collision and drugs and/or alcohol did not play a role in the collision.

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