On February 7, 2024 by Shasta Tollefson, Officer CHP

On February 3, 2024, at approximately 12:43 a.m., Merced Communications Center (MCC) broadcast a call of a traffic crash with an ambulance responding to the area of northbound State Route 59, north of the Merced County Line. California Highway Patrol (CHP) Merced Units responded to the collision scene and observed that a 2017 Toyota Yaris Sedan had overturned off the roadway and had sustained major rollover damage.

Preliminary crash investigation indicates that the 58 year old male driver out of Merced CA was driving the 2017 Toyota Yaris in the northbound lane of SR-59, north of Fields Road at an unknown rate of speed. For unknown reason, the driver veered to the right and allowed the Toyota to travel off the east shoulder of SR-59 and rolled over multiple times. The 60 year old right front passenger out of Merced CA and the driver of the Toyota were not wearing their seat belts and were both ejected from the vehicle. The driver sustained major injuries from the crash and was transported by ambulance to Memorial Medical Center in Modesto,CA. The passenger succumbed to his injuries at the scene and was pronounced deceased.

It is unknown if drugs and/or alcohol contributed to the cause of this crash. The cause of the crash is still under investigation. For media inquiries please contact Public Information Officer Eric C. Zuniga at 209-356-6608.

The California Highway Patrol wants to remind all vehicle operators and passengers to please wear their seat belt restraint system at all times.

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