Two crashes in Lodi hours apart left two people dead on Saturday evening, with one of the incidents resulting in the arrest of one driver.
California Highway Patrol officers responded to a vehicle accident near Highway 99 and East Kettleman Lane at about 4:35 p.m. Saturday.
According to the CHP, a white 2001 Chevrolet pickup truck was traveling south on Highway 99 at freeway speeds alongside a 2007 Dodge.
The driver of the Chevrolet, a 69-year-old Galt woman, seems to have wanted to take the Kettleman Lane exit, according to the CHP, so she accelerated partially past the Dodge before abruptly steering to the right.
The rear of the Chevrolet collided with the front of the Dodge, causing the driver of the pickup to lose control. The impact caused the Chevrolet to rotate clockwise at it traveled across the off-ramp and down an embankment before colliding broadside with a large tree along the right shoulder, the CHP said.
The Chevrolet’s driver was pronounced dead at the scene, CHP said.
The off-ramp was closed for about 45 minutes, according to the CHP. The entire area was reopened to traffic by 7 p.m.
The San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Office has not identified the Galt woman, pending notification of her next of kin.
The injuries of the other driver, a 66-year-old man from Simi Valley, were not known.
About three hours later, the CHP responded to a second accident at the Highway 88 and East Harney Lane intersection, in which a green 2006 Honda CRV collided head-on with a white Subaru Outback.
According to reports, the CRV was traveling north on Highway 88, just north of Harney Lane, followed by a 2015 Mercedes. A 2018 Honda was traveling south, and the 2003 Subaru Outback was driving directly behind the southbound Honda, the CHP said.
The CRV made an unsafe pass in front of southbound traffic, was broadsided by the oncoming Honda, and traveled west off the roadway, the CHP said.
In an attempt to avoid collision, the Subaru veered to the right and collided with the right side of the CRV. The southbound Honda veered into northbound traffic, colliding with the side of the Mercedes, which rolled over, according to reports.
A male passenger in the CRV was pronounced dead at the scene. The driver, a 70-year-old Stockton man, was taken to an area hospital for treatment of major injuries. He was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence, the CHP said.
The Sheriff’s Office identified the passenger as 71-year-old Bounchanh Kanyahak of Stockton.
The driver of the other Honda, a 59-year-old Salida man, was taken to an area hospital or minor injuries. The driver of the Subaru, a 25-year-old Reno man, was also transported to an area hospital for minor injuries.