Category Archives: Death

Woman dies after crashing into disabled big rig on freeway Friday afternoon

On Friday, May 20th, 2022, at 1:26 pm, the California Highway Patrol, Turlock Fire Department, and American Medical Response were dispatched to a reported vehicle collision with injuries southbound State Route 99 just south of Lander Ave, Turlock.

When crews arrived on scene, they found two vehicles involved. One was a Buick SUV and the other was a Kenworth tractor trailer.

The Buick SUV had a single occupant, a 51-year old female of Livingston, whose identity has not yet been released pending next of kin notification. She suffered major injuries and was ground transported by American Medical Response to a local hospital. Eventually, while at the hospital, she succumbed to her injuries. The Kenworth tractor trailer also had a single occupant, Daljit Singh, 54, of Bakersfield, who was uninjured.

The Buick SUV sustained major damage and was deemed inoperable as a result of the collision, requiring it to be towed away, while the Kenworth tractor trailer sustained minor damage and was able to be driven away from the scene.

Officers began investigating and learned that Singh was traveling southbound on State Route 99 and had a mechanical failure with his truck, so he pulled it off to the right shoulder of the freeway. A little later, the Buick SUV was traveling in the same direction as Singh, and for an unknown reason, its driver allowed her vehicle to enter the right shoulder behind Singh, colliding with the back of Singh’s trailer at before coming to final rest.

Officers determined that the driver of the Buick SUV was not wearing her seatbelt at the time of the collision. Due to the lack of intrusion inside the Buick SUV, it is believed that she would have survived the collision if she was properly restrained. “The CHP would like to remind all motorists that seatbelts, when worn properly, have the ability to save lives when involved in a collision,” said California Highway Patrol Officer Thomas Olsen.

Man dies after crashing vehicle into trees and being ejected Saturday evening

On Saturday, May 14th, 2022, at 5:59 pm, the California Highway Patrol, Keyes Fire Protection District, and American Medical Response were dispatched to a reported vehicle collision with injuries on N Washington Rd just north of W Taylor Rd, Turlock.

When crews arrived on scene, they found a single vehicle involved, a Chevrolet pickup truck.

The vehicle had a single occupant, Eric Duane Vaughn, 46, of Stevenson, who suffered fatal injuries after being ejected from the vehicle during the collision.

The vehicle sustained major damage and was deemed inoperable as a result of the collision, requiring it to be towed away.

Officers began investigating and determined Vaughn was traveling northbound on N Washington Rd at an unknown speed, when for an unknown reason, he allowed his vehicle to veer to the left. His vehicle traveled off the roadway into the west dirt shoulder and collided with two trees, causing it to overturn. The vehicle came to final rest on its side next to an orchard. While overturning, Vaughn was ejected from the vehicle causing his fatal injuries because he was not wearing his seatbelt.

At this point, it remains unknown if Vaughn was or was not under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Man arrested after murdering infant daughter Wednesday afternoon

On Wednesday, April 13th, 2022, at 4:30 pm, the Turlock Police Department was dispatched to a reported juvenile abuse at Emanuel Medical Center, 825 Delbon Ave, Turlock, after hospital staff had called to report that an infant had died as a result of suspected abuse.

When officers arrived on scene, they met with hospital staff who told them at Joseph Anthony Rendon, 23, of Turlock, had brought in his two-month old daughter after she had unexplainably stopped breathing at his home. Although hospital staff performed life saving measures on the victim, she was ultimately not able to be revived and was pronounced deceased.

Initially, no one was able to find a cause of death, however, an autopsy was performed the following day by the Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Office’s Coroner Division. The autopsy was witnessed by Turlock Police detectives and it revealed that the infant had sustained serious injuries which pointed to severe abuse.

Within hours, detectives authored and served search warrants for Rendon’s residence and vehicle, and Rendon voluntarily went to the Turlock Police Department to be interviewed.

After the interview, Rendon was arrested and booked into the Stanislaus County Public Safety Center on charges of murder and causing unjustifiable physical pain, injury, or mental suffering to a child.

“This is devastating and difficult to understand why this happened,” said Turlock Police Chief Jason Hedden. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the child’s family during this difficult time. These cases have an emotional impact on our officers and everyone involved in these types of investigations. We can only pray that the arrest of Joseph Rendon brings some sense of healing to the family and community,” he continued.

The investigation remains on-going. Anyone with information that could assist in the investigation is encouraged to call Detective Brandon Bertram at 209-664-7323.

Joseph Anthony Rendon

UPDATE: Victim of Tuesday’s aggravated assault succumbs to her injuries

On Wednesday, March 9th, 2022, at 12:03 pm, the Turlock Police Department came out with an update regarding the aggravated assault that had occurred on Tuesday, March 8th, 2022, at O’Rielly Auto Parts, 1144 Geer Rd, Turlock.

The Turlock Police Department announced that the victim, Zobeyda Esquerra, 22, of Livingston, succumbed to her injuries while at the hospital.

Police also identified their suspect who was arrested after a manhunt yesterday as Juan Francisco Ibarra-Tapia, 22, of Livingston. Ibarra-Tapia was booked into the Stanislaus County Public Safety Center on charges of murder, attempted murder, flight from a peace officer, discharging a firearm during the commission of a felony, and discharging a firearm during the commission of a felony causing great bodily injury or death.

During the preliminary investigation, detectives revealed a couple of things. They revealed that this was not a random act of violence and that Ibarra-Tapia had previously been arrested in October of 2021 for stalking Esquerra. They also revealed that Ibarra-Tapia had shot at two employees of O’Rielly Auto Parts when he shot Esquerra. Luckily, those shots missed.

“Our hearts go out to the victim’s family, and we hope the arrest of the suspect brings some sense of closure as they mourn the loss of Zoe,” said Officer Gina Giovacchini.

Ibarra-Tapia is currently being held on a no-bail status.

The investigation remains on-going. Anyone with information that could assist in the investigation is encouraged to call Officer Gina Giovacchini at 209-668-6539.

Man calls 911 to report he’s feeling suicidal, shoots himself dead seconds later Friday morning

On Friday, December 10th, 2021, at 11:51 pm, the Turlock Police Department was dispatched to a reported sick person in the 500 block of C St, Turlock, where a subject had called 911 reporting that he was feeling suicidal and was about to shoot himself with a gun.

The subject stayed on the phone with dispatch for a few minutes, however, ultimately hung up before officers could arrive. A few seconds later, someone else called to report that someone had just shot themselves. The Turlock Fire Department and American Medical Response were dispatched.

When crews arrived on scene, they found a 42-year old male suffering from a gunshot wound to the head. Crews attempted life-saving measures, however, despite their best efforts, the subject succumbed to his injuries at the scene.

The gun used was a Glock 17 9 millimeter. It was recovered at the scene.

The investigation remains on-going.

Man shoots himself dead inside his home Sunday night

On Sunday, November 28th, 2021, at 10:53 pm, the Turlock Police Department, Turlock Fire Department, and American Medical Response were dispatched to a reported attempted suicide at a residence in the 100 block of Memory Ln, Turlock, where a man had shot himself in the head.

When crews arrived on scene, they found a 47-year old male with no pulse, not breathing, suffering from a gunshot wound to the head. Crews attempted life-saving measures, however, the subject succumbed to his injuries at the scene.

The gun used was a Glock 22 .40 caliber. It was recovered at the scene.

The investigation remains on-going.

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.

One dead, one injured in early Sunday morning freeway rollover

On Sunday, November 21st, 2021, at 2:32 am, the California Highway Patrol, Turlock Fire Department, and American Medical Response were dispatched to a reported vehicle collision with injuries on northbound State Route 99 just north of W Monte Vista Ave, Turlock.

When crews arrived on scene, they located a single vehicle involved, a Chevrolet SUV. The vehicle had two occupants, its driver, Luis Mojarro, 29, of Galt, and his passenger, Fernando Herrera, 21, of Lodi. Mojarro had been ejected from the vehicle and was laying on the on-ramp while Herrera was trapped in the vehicle.

Both subjects suffered major injuries and were ground transported by American Medical Response to local hospitals. Mojarro later succumbed to his injuries while at the hospital.

Officers began investigating and determined that Mojarro was traveling northbound State Route 99 in an unknown lane, when for an unknown reason, he turned his vehicle to the right near W Monte Vista Ave. The vehicle then left the roadway and overturned, coming to final rest in an embankment. At some point during this, Mojarro was ejected from the vehicle.

Currently, it is unknown if alcohol, drugs, or speed 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 Jason Zimmerman at 209-545-7440.

Elderly woman dead after being struck by vehicle while using crosswalk Wednesday afternoon

On Wednesday, November 17th, 2021, at 4:54 pm, the Turlock Police Department, Turlock Fire Department, and American Medical Response were dispatched to a reported vehicle collision with injuries at the intersection of Lander Ave and 9th St, Turlock.

When crews arrived on scene, they located a single vehicle involved. The vehicle was a gray GMC pickup truck which had struck a pedestrian, later identified as Martha Barajas, 66, of Turlock.

The gray GMC pickup truck had three occupants, a driver and two passengers, all of which were uninjured. When crews arrived on scene, Barajas was laying unresponsive in the middle of the roadway and an off-duty nurse was performing CPR on her. Barajas suffered major injuries and was ground transported by American Medical Response to a local hospital, where she later succumbed to her injuries at.

The gray GMC pickup truck sustained minor damage and would have been able to be driven away from the scene, however, it was authority towed to the police department to be processed for evidence.

Officers began investigating and determined that the gray GMC pickup truck was traveling northbound in the left lane of Lander Avenue, approaching Barajas, who was walking eastbound across the street in a crosswalk. For an unknown reason, the driver of the gray GMC pickup truck did not see Barajas until it was too late and he struck her.

At this point, alcohol, drugs, and speed do not appear to be a factor in the collision.

The investigation remains on-going. Anyone with information that could assist in the investigation is encouraged to call Officer Martin Marquez at 209-668-5550 extension 6761.

Motorcyclist killed by driver failing to yield the right of way Monday afternoon

On Monday, November 8th, 2021, at 4:21 pm, the Turlock Police Department, Turlock Fire Department, and American Medical Response were dispatched to a reported vehicle collision with injuries at the intersection of N Golden State Blvd and Pedras Rd, Turlock.

When crews arrived on scene, they located two vehicles involved. One was a black motorcycle and the other was a white Hyundai sedan.

The motorcycle’s only rider, later identified as Owen McDonald, 32, of Turlock, suffered major life threatening injuries and was ground transported by American Medical Response to a local hospital, where he later succumbed to those injuries. The white Hyundai sedan had two occupants, a driver and a passenger. The driver suffered moderate injuries and was ground transported by American Medical Response to a local hospital, which she was later released from. The passenger did not suffer any reported injuries.

Both vehicles sustained moderate damage and were deemed inoperable as a result of the collision, requiring them to be towed away.

Officers began investigating and determined that McDonald was traveling northbound in the left lane of N Golden State Blvd going through Pedras Rd, when for an unknown reason, the white Hyundai sedan which was traveling westbound on Pedras Rd and making a southbound turn onto N Golden State Blvd, failed to yield the right of way to him and pulled out in front of him, causing him to collide with its left side. Currently, officers do not suspect that alcohol, drugs, or speed were a factor in the collision.

The roadway was partially blocked for several hours while officers investigated, collected evidence, and took laser scans.

The investigation remains on-going. Anyone with information that could assist in the investigation is encouraged to call Officer Mike Simbalenko at 209-668-6523.

Pedestrian killed by train early Monday morning

On Monday, October 18th, 2021, at 2:37 am, the Turlock Police Department, Turlock Fire Department, and American Medical Response were dispatched to a reported vehicle collision with injuries at the intersection of E Olive Ave and N First St, Turlock.

When crews arrived on scene, they located a pedestrian and train involved.

The pedestrian, later identified as Frank Fink, 41, of Turlock, suffered major injuries which he succumbed to upon impact. The train’s crew was uninured.

The train sustained no damage and was able to be driven away from the scene.

Officers began investigating and determined that the train was traveling northbound through the area when it struck Fink who was on the tracks and wearing all black. The train was stopped for about an hour and half to allow officers to investigate which caused all crossing between W Canal Dr and W F St to be blocked.

The investigation remains on-going. Anyone with information that could assist in the investigation is encouraged to call Officer Cherish Hood at 209-668-6529.

Woman dead after drunk husband causes vehicle to roll off of freeway Thursday night

On Thursday, September 30th, 2021, at 10:37 pm, the California Highway Patrol, Turlock Fire Department, and American Medical Response were dispatched to a reported vehicle collision with injuries on southbound State Route 99 just south of W Monte Vista Ave, Turlock.

When crews arrived on scene, they found a single vehicle involved which was a silver Ford SUV. The vehicle was on its roof in a dirt patch just west of the freeway and there was a female laying next to it unresponsive.

The vehicle had a total of six occupants. Its driver, Luis Rodriguez, 35, of Merced, suffered major injuries and was ground transported by American Medical Response to a local hospital after being extricated from the vehicle by fire personnel. Its front seat passenger, the wife of Rodriguez, Eva Mendoza, 31, of Merced, suffered major injuries which she succumbed to prior to responders’ arrival. She was the unresponsive female who was found laying on the ground next to the vehicle. The vehicle had an additional four occupants, ages 3, 2, 1, and 6 months, who were Rodriguez’s and Mendoza’s children. They were all uninjured but were ground transported by American Medical Response to local hospitals as precautionary measures.

Officers began investigating and determined that the vehicle had just passed the W Monte Vista Ave exit while traveling southbound on State Route 99 when Rodriguez lost control of it and it veered off of the freeway. When this happened, the vehicle collided with a chain linked fence, overturned, and landed on its roof, ejecting Mendoza and making her hit the ground in the process. Officers also determined that Rodriguez and Mendoza were not wearing seatbelts, while their kids were, and that Rodriguez was under the influence of alcohol.

The vehicle sustained major damage and was deemed inoperable as a result of the collision, requiring it to be towed away.

Rodriguez was arrested however later released to the hospital to be treated for his injuries. Upon his release from the hospital, he will be booked into the Stanislaus County Public Safety Center on charges of vehicular manslaughter and driving while intoxicated causing injuries.

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

Man dead after crashing head-on while attempting to pass Thursday morning

On Thursday, September 16th, 2021, at 6:32 am, the California Highway Patrol, Denair Fire Protection District, Keyes Fire Protection District, Turlock Rural Fire Protection District, and American Medical Response were dispatched to a reported vehicle collision with injuries on Santa Fe Ave just south of E Monte Vista Ave, Denair.

When crews arrived on scene, they located three vehicles involved. One was a Subaru SUV, one was a Toyota sedan, and the other was a Nissan SUV.

The driver of the Subaru SUV, Kenneth Williams, 63, of Modesto, who was its only occupant, suffered major injuries and was ground transported by American Medical Response to a local hospital where he later succumbed to his injuries. The driver of the Toyota sedan, Trinidad Magana, 62, of Hughson, who was its only occupant, was airlifted by PHI Air Medical Services to a local hospital with major injuries. The driver of the Nissan SUV, Ricardo Gallegos, 48, of Modesto, who was its only occupant, was uninjured.

Officers began their investigation and determined that Williams was traveling northbound, while Magana was traveling southbound with Gallegos right behind him. Williams attempted to pass a vehicle that was in front of him by crossing into the southbound lane, when he collided head-on with Magana. The collision then pushed Magana’s vehicle back and caused it to collide with the front of Gallegos’ vehicle.

It is currently unknown if alcohol or drugs were a contributing factor in this collision. All vehicles involved sustained major damage and were deemed inoperable as a result of the collision, which required them to be towed away from the scene.

Santa Fe Ave was temporarily closed between E Monte Vista Avenue and N Vincent Rd while officers were on scene investigating.

The California Highway Patrol would like to remind all motorists when safe to do so. The consequences of not doing so could be deadly, as seen in this example. The California Highway Patrol would also like to remind all motorists that the speed limit on a two-lane undivided highway is 55 miles per hour, unless otherwise indicated.

Man found dead behind industrial park’s sign Saturday night

On Saturday, August 14th, 2021, at 9:38 pm, the Turlock Police Department, Turlock Fire Department, and American Medical Response were dispatched to a reported man down at Valley Industrial Park, 401 S Walnut Rd, Turlock.

When crews arrived on scene, they located a male subject, later identified as Alec Jacobs, 26, of Oakland, with obvious signs of death and already in rigor mortis laying on the ground behind the sign of the complex.

Jacob’s cause of death remains unknown.

The investigation remains on-going. Anyone with information that could assist in the investigation is encouraged to call Officer Martin Marquez at 209-668-5550 extension 6761.

Horse rider and horse killed by distracted driver Wednesday morning

On Wednesday, August 11th, 2021, at 9:05 am, the California Highway Patrol, Turlock Rural Fire Protection District, and American Medical Response were dispatched to a reported vehicle collision with injuries at the intersection of E Harding Rd and Youngstown Rd, Turlock.

When crews arrived on scene, they located a single vehicle involved that had struck a horse being ridden by a subject. The vehicle was a Chevrolet pickup. Its driver, later identified as Isaac Leal, 27, of Delhi, was uninjured. The horse rider, later identified as Summer Vigil-Gardner, 19, of Turlock, was ground transported by American Medical Response to a local hospital with major injuries. She later succumbed to her injuries at the hospital. The horse was immediately killed in the collision.

Officers began investigating and determined that Leal was traveling northbound on Youngstown Rd approaching E Harding Rd which is a sweeping left turn, while Vigil-Gardner was traveling westbound on E Harding Rd approaching Youngstown Rd on the right edge of the road. Leal admitted to looking down for a few seconds to grab something and when he looked up, he saw Vigil-Gardner directly in front of him. He immediately made a hard left turn, which caused the pickup truck to rotate in a counter-clockwise direction. The rotation caused the right side of the pickup truck to collide with Vigil-Gardner, ejecting her from the horse and throwing her onto the ground.

The California Highway Patrol would like to remind all motorists that at 50 miles per hour, your vehicle is capable of traveling half the length of a football field in just a matter of two seconds. Keep both hands on the steering wheel, your eyes on the road, and your mind focused at all times. The consequences of not doing so could be deadly, as seen in this example.

Man killed in freeway hit and run early Tuesday morning

On Tuesday, August 3rd, 2021, at 2:54 am, the California Highway Patrol, Turlock Fire Department, and American Medical Response were dispatched to a reported vehicle collision with injuries on southbound State Route 99 just north of W Main St, Turlock.

When crews arrived on scene, they located a male, later identified as Thomas Paul Kelly Jr., 27, of Delhi, laying in the fast lane with no involved vehicle around. Crews checked on Kelly and immediately pronounced him deceased.

The California Highway Patrol began its investigation and determined that an unknown vehicle was traveling southbound on State Route 99 just north of W Main St in the fast lane when its front bumper collided with Kelly, who was walking in the fast lane, at an unknown speed. Kelly was knocked down to the ground and immediately killed. The vehicle then continued southbound without stopping.

It is currently unknown if alcohol, drugs, or speed were a factor in the collision. The vehicle should have front end damage consistent with striking a pedestrian.

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

Woman dead after colliding with semi truck Friday morning

On Friday, July 30th, 2021, at 6:18 am, the California Highway Patrol, Hughson Fire Protection District, Keyes Fire Protection District, Denair Fire Protection District, and American Medical Response were dispatched to a reported vehicle collision with injuries at the intersection of E Keyes Rd and Mountain View Rd, Hughson.

When crews arrived on scene, they found two vehicles involved. One was a 2009 Toyota sedan and the other was a 2015 Mack semi truck. Crews immediately declared the driver of the Toyota, later identified as Sukhjit Dhaliwal, 56, of Turlock, deceased. Her passenger, later identified as Avtar Thiara, 58, of Turlock, sustained minor injuries and was ground transported by American Medical Response to a local hospital. The driver of the Mack, later identified as Larry Pearson, 65, of Atwater, sustained moderate injuries and was also ground transported by American Medical Response to a local hospital.

The California Highway Patrol began their investigation and determined that Dhaliwal was driving southbound on Mountain View Rd approaching E Keyes Rd when for an unknown reason, she pulled out in front of Pearson as he was driving westbound on E Keyes Rd approaching Mountain View Rd. Pearson attempted to avoid the collision by swerving to the left, however, he was unable to and the two vehicles collided. The Mack struck the left side of the Toyota causing it to leave the roadway in a northwesterly direction while the Mack left the roadway in a southwesterly collision, rolled over onto its right side, and struck an almond tree.

E Keyes Rd was temporarily closed during the investigation. A detour was put in place with minimal delay to the motoring public. The California Highway Patrol would like to remind all motorists to constantly be aware of their surroundings and obey all traffic signage. The consequences of not doing so could be deadly, as seen in this example.

Man killed by delivery van backing into loading dock Thursday morning

On Thursday, July 29th, 2021, at 10:37 am, the Turlock Police Department, Turlock Fire Department, and American Medical Response were dispatched to a reported vehicle collision with injuries behind Ace Hardware, 3051 Geer Rd, Turlock.

When firefighters and paramedics arrived on scene, they located a man, later identified as Alan Cole, 44, of Turlock, on the ground unconscious at the loading dock behind the business. He had been run over by a delivery van backing into the loading dock. Police say that Cole was believed to be sleeping when the collision occurred.

Firefighters and paramedics provided medical aid to Cole before he was ground transported to a local hospital by American Medical Response. Later at the hospital, he succumbed to his injuries.

The driver of the delivery van remained on scene and was cooperative with police. Alcohol, drugs, or speed do not appear to be a factor in the collision. The investigation remains on-going. Anyone with information that could assist in the investigation is encouraged to call Officer Frank Neves at 209-668-5550 extension 6707.

Motorcyclist killed Friday morning after plowing into the back of a truck

On Friday, July 9th, 2021, at approximately 8:55 am, the Turlock Police Department received a call of an injury vehicle collision involving a motorcycle in front of Foster Farms located at 4002 W Main St. Officers responded along with American Medical Response and the Turlock Fire Department’s Battalion 4, Engine 31, and Squad 32.

Officers arrived on scene a couple minutes later to find a motorcycle and tractor trailer involved in a collision, with the motorcyclist, later identified as Nicholas Hays, 34, of Turlock, showing obvious signs of death and the driver of the tractor trailer suffering no injuries. When fire crews arrived on scene, they later confirmed that Hays was indeed deceased and that life saving efforts would have zero effect.

Officers began investigating and determined that both vehicles were traveling in the same direction when for an unknown reason, the Hays rode into the back of the tractor trailer. At this time, it remains unknown if alcohol or drugs were involved in the collision, however, speed definitely was. The roadway was closed for several hours while officers investigated the incident.

Officers have yet to receive any statements from uninvolved witnesses and the investigation remains on-going. Anyone with information regarding this incident is encouraged to contact Officer Michael Simbalenko at 209-668-6523 or by email at MSimbalenko@turlock.ca.us. You can also leave an anonymous tip at the Turlock Police Department’s tip line at 209-668-5550 extension 6780 or by email at tpdtipline@turlock.ca.us.

Man dies after driving off of freeway early Friday morning

On Friday, June 18th, 2021, at approximately 5:30 am, the California Highway Patrol received a call of an injury vehicle collision southbound State Route 99 just south of W Taylor Rd. The caller reported that they had located a vehicle on its roof in an orchard just west of the freeway that appeared to have driven off the freeway. California Highway Patrol officers responded along with American Medical Response and the Turlock Fire Department’s Battalion 4, Squad 32, Engine 33, and Engine 34.

When crews arrived on scene, they located a Ford sedan rolled over on its roof in an orchard with one patient trapped. Upon freeing that patient, he was immediately declared deceased. His identity is currently not being released, pending next of kin notification, however, we do know that he is a 40 year old male of Dinuba.

The California Highway Patrol’s preliminary investigation indicates that the driver of the vehicle was traveling southbound on State Route 99 just south of W Taylor Rd, when for an unknown reason, he allowed his vehicle to veer to the right, leaving the west edge of the road. The vehicle continued in a southwesterly direction, entered a dirt ditch, and traveled through a barbed wire fence. The vehicle then overturned and came to rest on its roof.

The driver was wearing his seatbelt at the time of the collision. It is unknown at this time if alcohol, drugs, or speeds were a contributing factor in the collision. The investigation remains on-going. Anyone with information regarding this incident is encouraged to contact Officer Brandon Whittemore at 209-545-7440 or by email at BWhittemore@chp.ca.gov.

Man commits suicide Monday evening by crashing into sheriff patrol car

On Monday, June 14th, 2021, at approximately 7:45 pm, the Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Office received a call of a suicidal subject in the 4300 block of Hickman Rd in the community of Denair threatening to harm himself with a knife, handgun, and rifle.

Patrol deputies responded along with the department’s Air Support Unit. Assistance was also requested from the Turlock Police Department. Prior to deputies’ arrival, the helicopter saw a subject outside the home matching the description of their responsible, identified as Javier Cueto-Aldaz, 39, of Denair. Cueto-Aldaz appeared to be armed with a black rifle. Patrol deputies established a command post at a safe and contained distance about a mile down the road. Traffic was also restricted to keep bystanders out of the area.

To avoid a confrontation with a person armed with a knife, handgun, and rifle, deputies began negotiations with Cueto-Aldaz over the phone. The helicopter stayed overhead and noticed Cueto-Aldaz drinking alcohol, walking in and out of his home, and entering vehicles parked on the property. Negotiations continued until Cueto-Aldaz said he was prepared to end his life. He left his home driving a pickup truck north on Hickman Rd at speeds over 100 miles-per-hour towards the command post. The command post had deputies at it, patrol cars, and an armored SWAT vehicle. Fortunately, deputies were able to run to safety in a nearby orchard. The pickup truck collided with three unoccupied patrol vehicles, catching fire, and overturning in a nearby orchard.

Deputies rushed to Cueto-Aldaz and began life saving efforts. They were later relieved by paramedics, but unfortunately, despite their best efforts, Cueto-Aldaz succumbed to his injuries. Investigators are reviewing footage from body-worn cameras and the helicopters. The department plans to release that footage in the near future. The California Highway Patrol responded to investigate the collision. No deputies or community members were injured as a result of this incident.

The investigation remains on-going. Anyone with information regarding this incident is encouraged to contact Detective Darvin Summerton at 209-525-7032 or by email at DSummerton@stansheriff.com.

Wrong way driver killed in fiery Tuesday night crash, others injured

On Tuesday, June 1st, 2021, at approximately 10:35 pm, the California Highway Patrol began receiving multiple calls reporting a wrong way driver in a red Ford Focus travelling northbound in the southbound lanes of State Route 99 north of Lander Ave.

When officers arrived in the area, they located the vehicle stopped in the center median of southbound State Route 99 facing northbound just under the W Linwood Ave overpass. Officers approached the vehicle and noticed that the engine was running, the headlights were on, the transmission was in drive, and the driver was slumped over behind the wheel. Officers also noticed several empty beer bottles on the floorboard. Officers made several attempts to wake up the driver before he suddenly woke up and accelerated forward, failing to obey the orders of the officers to stop. The vehicle struck the front of the patrol vehicle before continuing to drive northbound in the southbound lanes.

About three minutes later, the vehicle was involved in a fiery head-on crash with gray Chevrolet Silverado just underneath the W Canal Dr overpass. California Highway Patrol officers arrived on scene immediately after the crash happened and requested assistance from the Turlock Police Department. American Medical Response and the Turlock Fire Department’s Battalion 4, Engine 31, Squad 32, Engine 33, and Engine 34 were also dispatched.

When crews arrived on scene, they declared the wrong-way driver deceased after extricating him from the vehicle. He was identified as Marvin Hernandez, 44, of Daly City. The driver of the vehicle Hernandez struck, Luis Torres-Perez, 21, of Delhi, and his passenger, Emily Garcia, 20, of Turlock, both survived the crash and are expected to make it. Torres-Perez was transported to a local area hospital with minor injuries and Garcia was transported to a local area hospital with major injuries.

The southbound lanes of State Route 99 were closed for several hours to conduct the investigation. Alcohol is suspected to be the primary collision factor.

Three perish in early Sunday morning house fire

On Sunday, May 30th, 2021, at approximately 1:45 am, the Denair Fire Protection District received a call of a working structure fire in the 3500 block of Fresno Ave. Units from Denair, Turlock Rural, Keyes, and Hughson Fire Protection Districts were dispatched as well as a member of the Stanislaus Fire Investigation Unit.

Denair Chief 2 was the first to arrive. Upon his arrival, he found a single story single family residence fully involved with power lines down. He was then told that there were two kids possibly stuck in the home. At that time, he immediately put crews into rescue mode and requested a second alarm which brought in units from the Turlock Fire Department as well as the Stanislaus Consolidated Fire Protection District. Crews began rescue efforts and made entry into a portion of the residence, but were forced to pull out due to heavy fire and collapsing roof.

Crews worked to extinguish the fire and upon doing so, located three victims deceased in the house. They have been ideified as Sergio Inostros Jr., 25, of Denair, Mason Mulgado, 8, of Denair, and Bennet Inostros, 3, of Denair. The Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Office responded at that point to take over the investigation.

The investigation remains on-going. Anyone with information regarding this fire is encouraged to contact Detective Dalton Gonzalez at 209-595-8686.

Man arrested after fatal early Monday morning hit and run collision

On Monday, May 3rd, 2021, at approximately 12:35 am, the Turlock Police Department received a call of an injury hit and run vehicle collision in front of Turlock Auto Parts located at 430 Lander Ave where a pickup truck had struck a bicycle and fled the scene. Officers responded along with American Medical Response and the Turlock Fire Department’s Battalion 4, Engine 31, and Squad 32.

While officers were responding to the scene, a caller reported that they were following the pickup westbound on Fulkerth Rd leaving town at high rates of speed. That caller continued to follow the pickup northbound on Crows Landing Rd until it rolled over near W Taylor Rd. The caller then reported that the driver leg bailed through a field in the area. Officers saturated the area and set up a perimeter but were unable to locate him.

Meanwhile, back at the original scene, the bicyclist, who was later identified as Juan Moralez, 50, of Turlock, was down on the ground not breathing. Paramedics and firefighters attempted to resuscitate him, but were unsuccessful in their efforts. He was pronounced deceased upon arrival at a local area hospital.

Throughout the course of the investigation, officers were able to identify the driver of the pickup as Francisco Javier Castellon-Gonzalez, 22, of Modesto. Castellon-Gonzalez was contacted and agreed to go to the Police Department for an interview. After the interview, Castellon-Gonzalez was placed under arrest and booked into the Stanislaus County Public Safety Center on charges of hit and run causing injury and vehicular manslaughter.

The preliminary investigation was a coordinated effort that lasted over 18 hours with members of the Turlock Police Department’s Major Accident Investigation Team, Special Investigations Unit, and Investigations Unit.

The investigation remains on-going. Anyone with information regarding this incident is encouraged to contact Officer Richard Fortado at 209-664-7399 or by email at RFortado@turlock.ca.us. You can also leave an anonymous tip at the Turlock Police Department’s tip line at 209-668-5550 extension 6780 or by email at tpdtipline@turlock.ca.us.

Francisco Javier Castellon-Gonzalez

Teen killed in Sunday night shooting

On Sunday, May 2nd, 2021, at approximately 8:50 pm, the Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Office received a call of a shooting that had just occurred at Martha Ave and Seventh St in the community of Keyes. Sheriff’s deputies responded along with Keyes Fire Protection District Engine 40 and American Medical Response.

Keyes Fire personnel arrived on scene, later joined by American Medical Response, and began life-saving efforts on a teenage victim, identified as Evan Robinson, 16, of Modesto, who, unfortunately, succumbed to his injuries at the scene. Sheriff’s deputies began their investigation and learned that several people were eating at nearby taco trucks when a fight broke out. At that point, shots began to be fired and Robinson was accidentally struck by them. Witnesses reported a silver car, possibly a Toyota Corolla, speeding away the scene. It is believed to be the suspect vehicle.

At some point during the investigation, detectives were able to identify Ruben Perez, 19, of Keyes, as a suspect. Detectives determined that Perez was on probation for aggravated assault and regularly attended classes at the Probation Department’s Day Reporting Center located on the same campus as the Sheriff’s Office. Detectives and other deputies set up at the Day Reporting Center on Wednesday, June 16th, 2021 and waited for Perez to arrive at one of his classes to take him into custody. At 1:30 pm, Perez arrived and was safely taken into custody by deputies. After being interrogated by detectives, Perez was booked into the Stanislaus County Public Safety Center on one count of homicide.

At another point during the investigation, detectives were also able to identify Anthony Joseph Pando, 22, of Ceres, as another suspect. For an unknown reason, on Thursday, June 17th, 2021, at approximately 2:55 pm, the Medford Police Department in Oregon made contact with Pando during a traffic stop, and upon conducting a records check on him, revealed that he was wanted in connection to this case. They arrested Pando and booked him into their jail, awaiting extradition back to Stanislaus County.

The investigation remains on-going. Anyone with information regarding this incident is encouraged to contact Detective David Hickman at 209-525-7042 or by email at DHickman@stansheriff.com.

Anthony Joseph Pando
Ruben Perez

Man killed in Monday afternoon Kubota utility vehicle collision

On Monday, April 12th, 2021, at approximately 1:50 pm, the California Highway Patrol received a call of an injury vehicle collision involving a Kubota utility vehicle and Ram pickup on N Washington Rd just north of W Taylor Rd. California Highway Patrol officers responded along with the Keyes Fire Protection District, Turlock Rural Fire Protection District, and American Medical Response.

American Medical Response arrived on scene first a few minutes after being dispatched and immediately pronounced the driver of the Kubota deceased. He was identified as Daniel Hernandez, 50, of Gustine.

The California Highway Patrol’s preliminary investigation revealed that the driver of the Ram was travelling southbound on N Washington Rd approaching W Taylor Rd when he rear-ended the Kubota causing the driver to be ejected and the vehicle overturned into an adjacent orchard. Drugs or alcohol were not a factor in the collision.

The driver of the Ram, Eric Mays, 30, of Turlock, suffered minor injuries but declined medical aid. He was cooperative with officers and told them he was traveling approximately 35 miles per hour when the collision occurred.

The investigation remains on-going. Anyone with information regarding this incident is encouraged to contact the Modesto office of the California Highway Patrol at 209-545-7440.

Navy serviceman killed in vehicle collision early Sunday morning

On Sunday, March 28th, 2021, at approximately 12:20 am, the Turlock Police Department received a call of an injury vehicle collision next to America’s Tire located at 3500 W Monte Vista Ave. Officers responded along with American Medical Response and the Turlock Fire Department’s Battalion 4, Squad 32, and Engine 34. The caller reported that a single vehicle had collided into a fire hydrant and irrigation box next to the business.

The first officer who arrived on scene located three occupants in the vehicle including a backseat passenger who was pinned and needed to be extricated. The Turlock Fire Department and American Medical Response arrived on scene shortly after and began extrication on the pinned passenger as well as life saving efforts on the other two occupants.

All occupants of the vehicle were transported to a local area hospital by ambulance where unfortunately, the driver, who was identified as William Shawn Pizarro, 19, of Newman, who was also a Aviation Machinist Mate in the Navy, succumbed to his injuries. The other two occupants, a 20-year old male and an 18-year old male suffered moderate non-life threatening injuries.

The investigation revealed that speed was a factor in the collision, but alcohol nor drugs were not.

Anyone with information regarding this incident is encouraged to contact Officer Richard Fortado at 209-664-7399 or by email at RFortado@turlock.ca.us. You can also leave an anonymous tip at the Turlock Police Department’s tip line at 209-668-5550 extension 6780 or by email at tpdtipline@turlock.ca.us.

Turlock High student commits suicide Monday morning

On Monday, March 22nd, 2021, at approximately 9:30 am, the Turlock Police Department received a call of an attempted suicide in the 1300 block of East Ave. The Turlock Police Department responded along with American Medical Response and the Turlock Fire Department’s Battalion 4 and Engine 33. The caller reported that her child, a 14 year old female shot herself in the head.

When the first officer arrived on scene, she located the child still breathing with a self inflicted gunshot wound to her head. Fire and medical units arrived on scene shortly after and immediately began lifesaving efforts. The child was loaded onto an ambulance and transported to a local area hospital accompanied by two Turlock firefighters. Unfortunately, despite all lifesaving efforts, the child succumbed to her injury.

In a statement, the Turlock Unified School District confirmed that the child was a student at Turlock High School and identified her as Emily Gonzalez, 14, of Turlock.

While on the subject, Turlock Area News would like to remind you that there is help available if you need it. You are not alone. You can reach out to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255 or the Turlock Police Department at 209-668-1200 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.

Man killed after being struck by vehicle Monday morning

On Monday, March 15th, 2021, at approximately 6:50 am, the Turlock Police Department received a call of an injury vehicle collision involving a pedestrian at W Monte Vista Ave and Dels Ln. The Turlock Police Department responded along with the Stanislaus State Police Department, American Medical Response, and the Turlock Fire Department’s Battalion 4, Squad 32, Engine 33, and Engine 34.

The first arriving officer found an unresponsive 27 year old male with major injuries laying in the roadway. He and an off-duty firefighter began doing CPR until relieved by the first arriving fire unit. Once an ambulance arrived, the victim was immediately loaded onto it and transported to a local area hospital where he was later unfortunately pronounced deceased. He has been identified as Anthony Eric Gonzales, 27, of Merced.

The driver of the vehicle that struck him, a 41 year old female of Denair in a 2019 Chevrolet Tahoe stayed on scene and was cooperative throughout the course of the investigation. At this point, alcohol, drugs, nor speed do not appear to be a factor in this collision.

The investigation remains on-going. Anyone with information regarding this incident is encouraged to contact Officer Martin Marquez at 209-668-5550 extension 6761 or by email at MMarquez@turlock.ca.us. You can also leave an anonymous tip at the Turlock Police Department’s tip line at 209-668-5550 extension 6780 or by email at tpdtipline@turlock.ca.us.

Bicyclist killed in Saturday evening hit and run collision

On Saturday, March 6th, 2021, at approximately 7:15 pm, the Turlock Police Department received a call of a hit and run injury vehicle collision involving a bicycle on N Front St just north of Almond Ave. Turlock Police officers responded along with American Medical Response and the Turlock Fire Department’s Battalion 4, Squad 32, and Engine 34.

The first arriving officer located a male unconscious in the roadway with a major head injury. Paramedics and firefighters arrived on scene shortly after and began patient care. The victim was loaded onto an ambulance and transported to a local area hospital by American Medical Response accompanied by two Turlock Firefighters.

Officers began their investigation and speaking to witnesses. Witnesses reported that a dark gray 2014-2019 Mercedes-Benz CLS 550 struck the bicyclist and then fled the scene. Officers checked the area but were unable to locate a matching vehicle.

Later at the hospital, the victim, who was identified as Johnny Romo, 44, of Turlock, succumbed to his injuries. Officers are asking for your help in locating the suspect vehicle. It should be missing a passenger side mirror and turn signal and could possibly be at an auto body repair shop.

Anyone with information regarding this incident should contact Officer Richard Fortado at 209-664-7399 or by email at RFortado@turlock.ca.us. You can also leave an anonymous tip at the Turlock Police Department’s tip line at 209-668-5550 extension 6780 or by email at tpdtipline@turlock.ca.us.

Elderly man killed in train collision Monday afternoon

On Monday, February 8th, 2021, at approximately 1:50 pm, the Turlock Police Department received multiple calls reporting an injury vehicle collision at N Golden State Blvd and W Monte Vista Ave where a train had struck an SUV. Turlock Police officers responded along with American Medical Response and the Turlock Fire Department with Battalion 4, Squad 32, Engine 33, and Engine 34.

When officers arrived on scene, they located a blue Subaru SUV with the driver laying unconscious on the floor next to his vehicle. Fire and medical units arrived on scene about a minute later and unfortunately pronounced the driver of the vehicle deceased. His identity is currently not being released, however, he was an 81 year old male of Turlock. This article will be updated once his name is released.

The Turlock Police Department’s preliminary investigation revealed that the driver of the vehicle was traveling southbound on N Golden State Blvd when he attempted to make a westbound turn onto W Monte Vista Ave at the intersection. While attempting to make that turn, he was struck by a northbound Union Pacific freight train approximately 1,500 feet in length. The train pushed the vehicle approximately 300 feet north of the intersection where it rolled on its side. The train made an emergency stop and came to rest approximately 2,000 feet north of the intersection near Roberts Rd.

The railroad’s crossing signals and arms were working properly at the time of the collision. A Union Pacific spokesperson said that the train’s crew did not sustain any injuries. The Union Pacific Police Department also responded to conduct their own investigation.

There were no roadway closures as a result of this collision and the scene was cleared at approximately 4:30 pm.

Suspects from May 2020 homicide arrested

On Wednesday, May 20th, 2020, at approximately 1:00 am, the Turlock Police Department received a call of a shooting that had just occurred in the 4300 block of Cherry Blossom Ln. Officers responded and located a deceased male at the scene who had suffered a single gunshot wound. He was identified as Izrael Villegas, 18, of Turlock.

Detectives from the Investigations Unit were called out and conducted an investigation. Detectives learned that the motive for the shooting was drug related. Detectives worked leads which led to Robert Omar Branche, 22, of Modesto, Jose Carmona, 30, of Modesto, and Owen Ramos, 23, of, Modesto being identified as the suspects.

On January 5th, Branche was in the Stanislaus County Public Safety center on an unrelated charge. He was pulled out by detectives and interviewed regarding this investigation and later rebooked on murder and robbery charges.

On January 6th, Carmona was spotted in Modesto and later contacted in Oakdale where he was arrested. He was also booked into the Stanislaus County Public Safety Center on murder and robbery charges.

On March 10th, Owens voluntarily went to the Turlock Police Department and was subsequently arrested and booked into the Stanislaus County Public Safety Center on robbery charges.

The investigation remains on-going. Anyone with information regarding this incident is encouraged to contact Detective Frank Navarro at 209-664-7319 or by email at FNavarro@turlock.ca.us. You can also leave an anonymous tip at the Turlock Police Department’s tip line at 209-668-5550 extension 6780 or by email at tpdtipline@turlock.ca.us.

Robert Omar Branche
Jose Carmona
Owen Ramos

Man crossing street struck and killed by vehicle

On Monday, November 30th, 2020, at approximately 5:20 pm, the Turlock Police Department received a call of an injury vehicle collision in front of the Venice Motel located at 1114 N Golden State Blvd. Officers were dispatched along with American Medical Response and the Turlock Fire Department.

Officers arrived on scene within minutes and located a 52-year old Hispanic male in the road that had suffered major injuries. Life saving measures were performed on scene by officers and paramedics. The patient was transported to a local area hospital by ambulance where he later succumbed to his injuries.

The Turlock Police Department’s Major Accident Investigation Team (MAIT) was notified and responded to the scene to handle the investigation. The investigation caused road closures for approximately five hours while investigators examined and collected evidence.

The investigation revealed that the driver of a 1994 Ford Van was travelling southbound on N Golden State Blvd when he struck the pedestrian who was walking westbound across the street. The driver remained on scene and was cooperative with police during their investigation. The department did have multiple recent contacts with the pedestrian where he was intoxicated, however, at this point, speed, alcohol, or drugs do not appear to be a factor in this collision.

The pedestrian has been identified by police as Lennie Hanslovan, 52, of Turlock.

Anyone with information regarding this incident is encouraged to contact Officer Allen Samano at 209-668-5550 extension 6753 or by email at ASamano@turlock.ca.us. You can also leave an anonymous tip at the Turlock Police Department’s tip line at 209-668-5550 extension 6780 or by email at tpdtipline@turlock.ca.us.

Man killed after being shot multiple times Monday afternoon

On Monday, November 16th, 2020, at approximately 3:40 pm, the Turlock Police Department received multiple calls reporting that a male that had been shot multiple times in front of Liberty Tax Service located at 1607 Lander Ave. Officers responded along with American Medical Response and the Turlock Fire Department with Battalion 4, Squad 32, and Engine 34. One caller stated that the victim was unconscious but breathing and another stated that the victim was conscious but having trouble staying conscious.

Officers arrived on scene within minutes and began rendering first aid to the victim, awaiting firefighters and paramedics’ arrival. When paramedics arrived on scene, they took over first aid and immediately placed the victim into their ambulance to start transporting him to a local hospital accompanied by two Turlock firefighters.

Detectives from both the Investigations Unit and Special Investigations Unit were called out to conduct an investigation. They remained on scene with patrol officers for about three hours canvassing the area for any other evidence they may find or witnesses who may have seen what happened. The victim’s vehicle, a white Toyota SUV, which the victim was shot just outside of, was towed as evidence and a search warrant was authored in hopes of finding more evidence inside the vehicle. The victim, who was identified as Joel Lopez Guzman, 39, from Turlock, succumbed to his injuries later at the hospital.

Throughout the course of the investigation, detectives were able to identify the suspect, Jeramie Hoover, 22, of Turlock. Detectives authored an arrest warrant for Hoover, which was approved. On January 7th, at approximately 3:15 pm, Hoover was located by the Okmulgee Police Department in Oklahoma. He was booked into their jail and will be extradited back to Stanislaus County soon.

The investigation remains on-going. Anyone with information regarding this incident is encouraged to contact Detective Jason Tosta at 209-664-7324 or by email at JTosta@turlock.ca.us. You can also leave an anonymous tip at the Turlock Police Department’s tip line at 209-668-5550 extension 6780 or by email at tpdtipline@turlock.ca.us.

Child killed, multiple people injured in hit and run collision Sunday evening

On Sunday, November 8th, 2020, at approximately 5:20 pm, the Turlock Police Department received a call of an injury vehicle collision involving two vehicles on Lander Ave just north of E Linwood Ave. The Turlock Police Department responded along with American Medical Response and the Turlock Fire Department with Battalion 4, Engine 31, Squad 32, and Engine 34.

Officers, firefighters, and paramedics all arrived on scene within minutes to find two vehicles that had collided resulting in four people suffering minor injuries and an 11 year old female unconscious suffering major injuries. Officers also discovered that the driver of one of the vehicles had fled the scene on foot. The 11 year old female was immediately loaded onto the first ambulance to arrive on scene and transported to a local hospital where she succumbed to her injuries. The other four occupants were all loaded in to a second ambulance and also transported to a local hospital.

While officers were investigating this collision, they noticed a male down just south of their location. They went to him and he reported that he was sideswiped while riding his motorcycle and that the driver had failed to stop. An ambulance was requested for him and he was transported to a local hospital with moderate injuries. It was later determined that the vehicle that had hit him was the same one involved in the original collision that the driver had leg bailed from.

The vehicle that the male had leg bailed from was a gray Ford SUV. The other vehicle involved was a red Honda sedan. Both vehicles sustained moderate to major damage. The motorcycle involved was a Harley Davidson that had suffered moderate damage.

The Turlock Police Department’s Major Accident Investigation Team (MAIT) was called out along with both Turlock and Modesto Police detectives to investigate the collision. The investigation caused roadway closures for nearly seven hours. Preliminary information shows that high speeds were a factor in these collisions. It is currently unknown if drugs or alcohol were involved.

The owner of the Ford SUV voluntarily went to the Turlock Police Department the following morning for an interview. He was identified as Josue Leyva, 25, of Turlock. After determining he was the driver of the vehicle at the time, he was arrested and booked into the Stanislaus County Public Safety Center on charges of vehicular manslaughter and multiple counts of felony hit and run.

The investigation remains on going. Anyone with information regarding this incident is encouraged to contact Officer Gregory Roton at 209-668-6536 or by email at GRoton@turlock.ca.us. You can also leave an anonymous tip at the Turlock Police Department’s tip line at 209-668-5550 extension 6780 or by email at tpdtipline@turlock.ca.us.

Josue Leyva

Man killed in early morning freeway collision on Sunday

On Sunday, November 8th, 2020, at approximately 1:05 am, the California Highway Patrol received a call of an injury vehicle collision southbound State Route 99 just north of Gold Rd involving a sedan and a semi truck. The California Highway Patrol responded along with American Medical Response and the Turlock Fire Department with Battalion 4, Engine 31, Squad 32, and Engine 34.

Squad 32 arrived on scene at approximately 1:15 am, after the California Highway Patrol and American Medical Response. Captain 32 reported two vehicles involved with major damage to one. Captain 32 assumed command and put Squad 32 into the investigation mode. Fire crews were told by paramedics that there was a confirmed pin in and that they had already requested an air ambulance.

Fire crews worked to extricate the patient and when they successful got him out, found him not breathing and without a pulse. He was immediately declared deceased and the air ambulance was cancelled. Fire and medical crews both left at this time and left the California Highway Patrol to investigate.

During the preliminary investigation, California Highway Patrol Officers determined that the sedan, which was a gold Toyota Corolla, was travelling southbound in the #3 lane, at an unknown, but high rate of speed. They furthermore determined that the semi, which was a white Freightliner Cascadia, was travelling southbound in the #3 lane ahead of the sedan. The sedan then rear ended the semi causing major front end damage to it, instantly killing the driver.

The deceased’s name is currently not being released, pending family notification, however, was identified as a 25 year old male of Atwater. The semi was being driven by Brian Marie Moil, a 23 year old male of Lemoore. He did not sustain any injuries. It is currently unknown if drugs or alcohol were a factor in the collision.

SUV crashes into moped, killing rider

On Sunday, September 20th, 2020, at approximately 9:45 pm, the Turlock Police Department received a call of an injury vehicle collision involving a moped in the intersection of W Main St and N Washington Rd. The Turlock Police Department and American Medical Response responded, as well as the Turlock Fire Department with Battalion 4, Squad 32, and Engine 34.

Officers arrived on scene within two minutes to find a citizen doing CPR on the victim. Officers took over CPR until medical could arrive. Squad 32 arrived on scene at approximately 9:50 pm, as well as American Medical Response. Captain 32 assumed Main command and put Squad 32 in the investigation mode. Firefighters and paramedics began providing patient care, relieving officers from doing CPR. It was then determined that this was actually just out of city limits, so the California Highway Patrol and Turlock Rural Fire District were called out.

American Medical Response loaded the patient onto their ambulance and began the trip to a local hospital, with two Turlock firefighters on Squad 32 accompanying them to provide extra assistance with patient care.

The driver of the other vehicle remained on scene and was cooperative with police. The patient later died at the hospital. He was identified as Miguel Naranjo, 38, of Turlock. The moped did not have the proper lighting equipment to be driven on the road, as required by the California Vehicle Code.

Man shot and killed in early morning Days Inn shooting

On Monday, September 7th, 2020, at approximately 4:15 am, the Turlock Police Department received multiple calls reporting shots fired at the Days Inn located at 185 N Tully Rd. Officers arrived on scene within two minutes to hear shots still being fired, however, unknown from exactly where at the hotel. Witnesses reported seeing a white Acura possibly involved in the shooting taking off when officers arrived. Officers checked the area but were unable to locate it. Officers located a Hispanic male inside the hotel that had suffered a single gunshot wound. He was transported to a local hospital where he succumbed to his injuries during surgery.

A second suspect was located on scene who was detained and brought in for questioning. After questioning, he was placed under arrest for attempted homicide, possession of a firearm by a prohibited person, participating in gang activity, and assault with a deadly weapon. He has been identified as Miguel Saldate, 19, of Ceres. It is currently unknown if Saldate’s charges are associated with the death of the victim, and if so, why he was charged with attempted homicide rather than homicide.

The original suspect, that fled in the white Acura, was located and taken in for questioning by detectives on September 9th, 2020. He was then subsequently booked into Stanislaus County Public Safety Center on charges of homicide, attempted homicide, assault with a deadly weapon, and possession of a firearm by a prohibited person. He has been identified as Juan Jose Cruz Jr., 19, of Modesto.

A third suspect was located on September 17th, 2020, shortly before 9:50 am at the Hamlet Motel located at 27101 State Route 33 in Newman. He lead officers on a short pursuit before abandoning his vehicle near State Route 33 and Anderson Rd and then bailing. After receiving assistance from the California Highway Patrol, Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Office, and the Newman Police Department, he was located later that afternoon several miles away in the 100 block of 5th St in Crows Landing and taken in for questioning. He was subsequently arrested and booked into Stanislaus County Public Safety Center on charges of homicide, attempted homicide, possession of a firearm by a prohibited person, participating in gang activity, and felony evasion. He has been identified as Eric Rodriguez, 26, of Patterson.

Detectives are currently investigating and working leads on identifying other involved parties. This homicide has been confirmed as gang related. The victim has identified as Mario Meza, 26, of Modesto.

Anyone with information regarding this incident is encouraged to call Detective Tim Redd at 209-664-7325 or by email at TRedd@turlock.ca.us. You can also leave an anonymous tip at the Turlock Police Department’s tip line at 209-668-5550 extension 6780 or by email at tpdtipline@turlock.ca.us.

Miguel Saldate
Juan Jose Cruz Jr.
Eric Rodriguez

Early morning shooting kills woman and unborn child

On Tuesday, August 4th, 2020, at approximately 1:00 am, the Turlock Police Department received a call of an aggravated assault in progress in the 200 block of Twentieth Century Blvd. Officers arrived on scene within a minute and located a Hispanic female inside a vehicle who had been hit by a bullet. She sustained life threatening injuries and was transported by ambulance to a local hospital.

The actual shooting occurred in the 500 block of Twentieth Century Blvd but the victim had fled to the 200th block of Twentieth Century Blvd. The suspect had left the scene prior to officers’ arrival. The victim was mostly unresponsive, but was able to tell officers that the suspect was driving a dark maroon SUV, possibly a Chevrolet Tahoe with a bullet hole in the door. The victim was also able to identify the driver as a Hispanic male and the passenger as a Hispanic female.

The victim has been identified as Amythest Rochelle Cortez, 27, of Gustine. Unfortunately, later that day, herself and her unborn child both succumbed to their injuries.

Detectives have been working tirelessly on this case since the morning of the shooting. Early on in the investigation, detectives identified the suspect as Robert Penaloza Jr., 29, of Turlock. It was learned that he immediately fled the area and was believed to be in Mexico. An arrest warrant was issued for him.

The Turlock Police Department worked with the United States Marshals Service and the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation to locate the suspect. Information was received that he was possibly living in Tijuana, Mexico. The information was given to Mexico authorities who ultimately located and arrested him. He was turned over to the Marshals Service and returned to the United States a short time later on Thursday, April 8th, 2021, where he was booked into the Stanislaus County Public Safety Center on two counts of homicide, one count of shooting at an occupied vehicle, one count of prohibited person in possession of a firearm, as well as two unrelated warrants with various charges.

The investigation is still on going. Anyone with information regarding this incident is encouraged to contact Detective Brandon Bertram at 209-664-7323 or by email at BBertram@turlock.ca.us. You can also leave an anonymous tip at the Turlock Police Department’s tip line at 209-668-5550 extension 6780 or by email at tpdtipline@turlock.ca.us.

Robert Penaloza Jr.

Pedestrian killed by train

On Tuesday, July 7th, 2020, at approximately 1:20 am, Turlock Police received a call from Union Pacific advising that one of their trains had hit a pedestrian in the downtown area. Police, fire, and medical units rushed to the scene. Around 1:25 am, a police officer located a victim and confirmed that obvious signs of death were present.

The woman killed has been identified as Rayleen Ray, 37. The train engineer had seen Ray sitting on the tracks and trying to move off of them just prior to the collision.