2 People Killed in Accident on River Road
February 23, 2022

San Joaquin County, California (Escalon, CA) – On February 21, 2022, a head-on accident early Monday morning in Newman killed two individuals as one vehicle attempted to overtake a tractor-trailer.

The incident occurred at 5:25 a.m. on River Road in Villa Manucha Road. The identities and hometowns of the dead have not been revealed awaiting confirmation of next of kin. Based on the initial investigation, a 2022 Ram 1500 driver was traveling northbound on River Road behind a 2022 Peterbilt tractor-trailer, operated by Santiago Arzate, a 33-year-old from Gustine. The Ram operator tried to overtake the tractor-trailer and moved into the southbound lane, right into the path of a 2005 Nissan Maxima.

Two cars hit head-on. The force of the collision forced the Ram to flip and then collide with the left side of the Peterbilt tractor. The Ram came to a halt on the dirt shoulder west of River Road, on its right side. The Nissan Maxima skidded to a halt on the dirt shoulder on its wheels. When first responders came, the Ram had caught fire and were enveloped in flames. Both drivers were pronounced dead on the spot.

According to the CHP, the operator of the Nissan was not wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash. At the moment, it is uncertain if Ram’s operator was wearing a seat belt or not. Arzate was wearing a seat belt and had no reported injuries. At the moment, it is uncertain if alcohol or drugs played a role in the accident. The inquiry is still ongoing.

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