Pedestrian on freeway struck and killed by vehicle Sunday afternoon

On Sunday, November 21st, 2021, at 1:40 pm, the California Highway Patrol, Keyes Fire Protection District, and American Medical Response were dispatched to a reported vehicle collision with injuries southbound State Route 99 just north of E Keyes Rd, Keyes.

When crews arrived on scene, they located a single vehicle involved, a Lincoln Sedan. The vehicle had two occupants, its driver, Humberto Gonzalez, 38, of Turlock, and his passenger, a 17-year old male juvenile. Gonzalez had struck a pedestrian, who was later identified as Cesario Nepomoceno, 22, of Merced.

Gonzalez and his passenger were not injured. Nepomoceno suffered major injuries which he succumbed to at the scene.

Officers began investigating and determined that Gonzalez was traveling southbound State Route 99 in the left lane at approximately 70 miles per hour, while Nepomoceno was attempting to cross the freeway in an eastbound direction. Nepomoceno began crossing and successfully made it across the right and middle lanes, before eventually being struck by Gonzalez in the left lane. Prior to the collision, Gonzalez attempted to avoid Nepomoceno by applying his brakes and swerving to the left, however, it was already too late.

It is currently unknown if alcohol or drugs were a factor in the collision.

The investigation remains on-going. Anyone with information that could assist in the investigation is encouraged to call Officer Milton Rafael at 209-545-7440.

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