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Five dead in Lodi crash

Dozen or more may be injured; child, pregnant woman among those killed

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Posted: Tuesday, October 22, 2013 6:29 pm | Updated: 3:40 am, Wed Oct 23, 2013.

Five people, including a young child, a pregnant woman and her unborn baby, died in a horrific crash at the intersection of Ham Lane and Vine Street in Lodi early Tuesday evening, police said.

Late Tuesday, officials said 12 or more may have been injured in the five-vehicle collision, but they could not confirm a specific number. Police said that several people were transported by air or ground ambulance to area hospitals, including St. Joseph’s Hospital in Stockton and UC Davis Medical Center, for emergency care.

Three of the injured were in surgery late Tuesday night, but their conditions were unknown, according to Detective Eric Bradley of the Lodi Police Department.

Bradley confirmed the number of fatalities. Children were also among the injured. Bradley said the ages of those injured and the extent of their wounds was not yet known.

The crash appears to be among the worst in Lodi history, drawing numerous emergency workers and vehicles and shutting off traffic at Ham and Vine for hours. As of 8:15 p.m., the intersection had not yet reopened.

David Durand, spokesman for American Medical Response, whose crews responded to the collision, confirmed that there were children involved in the wreck and they had been ejected from a vehicle during impact.

The 911 call came in at 5:21 p.m. Six ambulances responded to the scene, along with several patrol cars from the Lodi Police Department and three Lodi Fire Department trucks.

The point of impact appeared to be just south of the intersection of Vine Street and Ham Lane. Three vehicles were crushed together in a violent knot. One white pickup truck was bent so that it formed a “V” around the hood of another involved truck.

Several witnesses standing on the lawn of Lodi Middle School, facing Ham Lane, reported seeing a man in a tan SUV speed through the intersection while using a cellphone. That vehicle came to rest in front of the driveway to the school, facing north in the southbound lane with severe damage to the front end.

A fifth vehicle came to rest on the west side of the intersection, facing west on Vine Street.

The entire intersection was blocked off to traffic and pedestrians with crime scene tape, including about 500 yards north and south of the site on Ham Lane. Debris, including shattered glass, metal shards and chunks of bumpers, was scattered across the roadway. Emergency workers spread powder on the street to absorb oil, gasoline and bloodstains.

Four tarps were spread across the edge of the lawn in front of Lodi Middle. Paramedics used three to treat patients for scrapes, back injuries and bruises before loading them into ambulances. Another was used to organize medical treatment bags.

Two deceased victims lay under cover on a lawn on the east side of Ham Lane. Another was still inside the white pickup, covered by a yellow sheet.

Police are still investigating how the collision occurred. A major accident investigation team headed by Sgt. Shad Canestrino has taken over the work of analyzing the scene to determine exactly where and how the collision happened. That team is also investigating whether cellphone distractions, alcohol or drugs were factors in the crash.

Contact Sara Jane Pohlman at sarap@lodinews.com.

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  • roxann ospital posted at 11:43 am on Fri, Oct 25, 2013.

    clementsroper Posts: 2

    What about the person who casued it all?????? Wheres the info on that person?????
    This is horrible =(

  • Felicia Ramirez posted at 4:36 pm on Wed, Oct 23, 2013.

    Flealuvchoochoo Posts: 3


  • Ed Walters posted at 11:38 am on Wed, Oct 23, 2013.

    the old dog Posts: 356

    After reading about kids being ejected from one of the vehicles, without a doubt seat belts were not used. It is most difficult to understand the impact that caused a rider to be propelled through the windshield, landing on the hood, did air bags deploy? More details will come out as to the major cause of this disaster. If what I heard on late night news is correct, the major cause was a driver going close or over 80 MPH and on a cell phone. Seldom if ever will posters agree, in this case how could they not?[sad]

  • Sunny Samuels posted at 7:26 am on Wed, Oct 23, 2013.

    Sunny Samuels Posts: 55

    They said that kids were ejected from one of the vehicles. No one wearing a seatbelt is ever ejected from a car. (Ask any cop, fireman, emt, emergency room worker) Those kids should have had seat belts on. Everyone please PLEASE PLEASE make sure any child riding with you has their seatbelt on and keeps it on. No excuses.

  • Dave Smith posted at 6:51 am on Wed, Oct 23, 2013.

    Dave Smith Posts: 2

    My heart goes out to the families of those lost due to this tragic accident. Maybe, just maybe this will get people to slow down and pay attention to what they are doing while on the road.

  • Randy Barnhart posted at 9:27 pm on Tue, Oct 22, 2013.

    Randy Barnhart Posts: 1

    So very sad!! My heart goes out to all of the families involved who are dealing with the tragic loss of their child's life. Although the article mentions one driver was on a cell phone, I am sure the investigation will show excessive speed and these poor innocent kids were not wearing seatbelts or were not in their car seats.



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