Fire Chief Steve Hall said local firefighters received the call at 2:07 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 2, and quickly made their way to the off-ramp near Diablo Grande connecting to Sperry Avenue, where the accident took place.
Although no one knows exactly what happened, Hall believes that one of the vehicles did not stop at the one-way stop intersection, which caused the collision. Five people were considered ‘moderately’ injured; one of the passengers, described as an elderly man in his late 80’s, was driving the Dodge pickup, while the other vehicle, a Lexus SUV, carried a mother and her three children, said Hall.
All were wearing their seatbelt at the time of the accident, he added.
“In that respect, they were very fortunate,” he said.
According to Hall, three air ambulances rushed the victims to the Doctors Hospital and Memorial Hospital in Modesto, and the UC Davis Medical Center in Davis. Four ground ambulances also attended the victims.
Although calls were made to California Highway Patrol, Patterson Police Services and the Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department that weekend, none had any reports about the accident in their possession that weekend, or the following Monday.
Further information about their current conditions and their identity have also been denied by medical staff.
However, bystander Jim Way, who was on a leisurely motorcycle ride in the area, was among the first to find the totaled vehicles before the ambulances arrived. He said that he saw the Dodge facing the wrong direction on the off-ramp, and witnessed that the mini-van was behind the truck.
Way also said that he made his way to the SUV, and attempted to pull the children and their mother out of the vehicle. Two of the children were described as being suspended from their seat belts, as the car was turned over. Way said that he believed the SUV had rolled onto its roof at one time, based on the scratches.
As more people arrived, more volunteers helped the victims out of their vehicles. Way said that he was mindful of emergency practices, thanks to his wife’s profession as a member of emergency services.
“Humans are at their best when they are at their worst,” said Way. “It’s something I never want to do again, but I’m not sad I went through it.”
Way also noted that if he does find out the names of the victims, he would like to send them flowers.
Contact Brooke Borba at 892-6187, ext. 24, or firstname.lastname@example.org.