A Lodi teenager died Tuesday evening in a vicious two-car collision on Highway 88, according to the California Highway Patrol.
The victim, a 16-year-old whose identity has not being released, was driving with a 13-year-old female passenger in a 1997 Honda Accord when they were struck by a 2000 Toyota pickup.
The pickup contained four people: the driver, a 65-year-old woman, and three passengers — a 68-year-old man, a 10-year-old girl and a 9-year-old girl — all from Gilroy.
All five survivors were all transported to area hospitals with major injuries, said Sgt. G.J. Pini of the California Highway Patrol. The driver of the Honda died at the scene, police said.
The accident took place on the highway near Brandt Road shortly before 6 p.m. The cause of the wreck is still under investigation, but Pini said drugs or alcohol are not believed to be a factor. It occurred when the Toyota, which was driving in the eastbound lane, struck the westbound Accord, she said. It was also unclear if either vehicle had made an attempt to avoid the other.
“Neither vehicle has skid marks around it,” Pini said.
A witness saw the Toyota move into the middle left turn lane and then into the path of the Honda for an unknown reason, according to a CHP press release.
The highway was closed for nearly two hours as emergency crews cleaned up the scene and investigated.