Madera woman, 61, dies in crash on High­way 99 in Merced County

Merced Sun-Star (Saturday) - - Community - BY VIKAAS SHANKER [email protected]­ced­sun­

A 61-year-old Madera woman was killed Tues­day night in a two-ve­hi­cle crash on High­way 99, ac­cord­ing to Cal­i­for­nia High­way Pa­trol.

CHP Merced re­sponded to a 7:50 p.m. call of an over­turned ve­hi­cle in the south­bound lanes of High­way 99, south of Westside Boule­vard, CHP Merced Of­fi­cer Eric Zu­niga said.

A Ford Es­cape was trav­el­ing about 85 to 90 mph in the left lane be­hind a Nis­san Al­tima, Zu­niga said.

Wit­nesses told of­fi­cers the Madera woman driv­ing the Es­cape made an un­safe turn to the left, caus­ing the Es­cape to drive off the eastern edge of the road­way into the dirt and me­dian be­fore ro­tat­ing on its wheels and re-en­ter­ing traf­fic, Zu­niga said.

The Es­cape started to roll over on its driver side in front of the Al­tima. The driver of the Al­tima, 27year-old Tur­lock res­i­dent Mario Alar­con, told of­fi­cers he tried to slow down, but couldn’t avoid a col­li­sion with the tum­bling Es­cape.

Af­ter the col­li­sion, both ve­hi­cles came to rest on their wheels and the Madera driver died at the scene, Zu­niga said. Her iden­tity was be­ing with­held pend­ing no­ti­fi­ca­tion of her fam­ily.

Alar­con didn’t re­port in­juries.

The left and cen­ter south­bound lanes of High­way 99 were closed for about two hours af­ter the col­li­sion, Zu­niga said.

Both driv­ers were wear­ing seat­belts, Zu­niga said.

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