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Modesto Police Department News Release

For Immediate Release

Contact: Scott Nelson, 2096522160
Release Date: Friday, June 20, 2014, 6:41:00 PM

Modesto CA: Solo vehicle collision into canal leaves one deceased

Date: June 20, 2014
Modesto Police Department
Media Relations
Office of the Chief of Police
600 10th Street, Modesto, Ca. 95354
Author: Officer Scott Nelson
Modesto CA: Solo vehicle collision into canal leaves one deceased
On Friday June 20th, 2014 at about 6:48 AM a vehicle was traveling westbound on West Briggsmore Avenue just west of Tully Road. For an unknown reason, the vehicle collided with the curb on the north side of the roadway. The vehicle then crossed over the westbound lanes of travel, exited the roadway, and landed upside down in the canal.
The solo male driver was trapped in the vehicle while it was upside down in the canal. Several citizens stopped and began working to remove the driver from the vehicle. Once the driver was removed from the vehicle the citizens began administering CPR (Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation) on him. The driver was transported to a local hospital where he was pronounced deceased.
The only occupant of the vehicle was a 41 year old male driver. He was a resident of Stockton California. His name is not being released yet as notification of his family is still pending.
At this time, there are no obvious signs of any alcohol or drug use by the driver. It is unknown yet if he was wearing his seatbelt at the time of the collision. The vehicle involved was a 2008 Honda Civic LX.
The heroic efforts of the citizens who stopped to help are commendable.  While risking their own safety, they attempted to save the life of someone they had never met. Their actions represent the most unselfish and courageous characteristics that emerge in people during a time of emergency.
The City of Modesto has seen an unusual increase in vehicle collision fatalities in the last seven days. During this time, there have been three fatal vehicle collisions resulting in the deaths of four people. On June 13th a solo female driver was killed while driving northbound on 9th Street at Tully Road. On June 16th a 12 year old female and a 47 year old male were killed in the 4600 block of Dale Road. So far in 2014 there have been nine fatal vehicle collisions which have resulted in the deaths of 12 people.  
This unfortunate recent rise in fatal traffic collision will hopefully be a fresh reminder for drivers to reevaluate their driving habits. Some valuable tips to safe driving include:
·         Don’t text or talk on your cell phone while driving – even hands-free. If you need to make a call, check road or weather conditions or respond to a text, wait until you stop in safe place, such as a rest stop or parking lot.
·         Don’t program your mobile GPS while you are driving.  Either have a passenger do it or stop in a safe place.
·         Share the driving with other passengers to avoid fatigue.
·         Rest – driving while drowsy can be fatal.  Even a 20 minute nap can do wonders.
·         Schedule your trip to allow for frequent breaks.  Take time to pull over at rest stops to stretch your legs and focus your head.
·         Stop for food or beverages.  Avoid eating while driving.
·         Don’t fall into the trap of driving while angry – aggressive driving can be dangerous.
For more information regarding safe driving habits, please visit the California Office of Traffic Safety website at
At this time, the cause of this collision has yet to be determined. As a standard procedure, a comprehensive collision investigation has begun and is in the early stages of the process. Witness statements and physical evidence at the scene will be evaluated before any collision factor or cause will be determined.
Anyone with information or witnesses this collision is encouraged to contact Traffic Officer Jeff Hopkins at 209-652-3165
Callers to Crime Stoppers can remain anonymous and may be eligible for a cash reward. Tipsters can also text information to Crime Stoppers by sending a text message to 274637. Just type “TIP704” along with your message.
For information about this news release, contact police spokesman Officer Scott Nelson, 209-652-2160.
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