LODI — The stop sign on the southeast corner of Turner Road and California Street was knocked out of place Monday morning as the result of a three-car accident.
Traffic Officer Chris Delgado said he was the first on scene, as he heard the collision just steps away from his vehicle.
“I was pulling into the (Lodi Community Church) parking lot, getting ready to do traffic enforcement,” Delgado said. “Then I heard the tires squeal, a loud crunch and I saw a lot of black smoke and called it in.”
Three additional patrol vehicles responded to the accident, along with firefighter paramedics and an ambulance.
Delgado said the driver of a red Chrysler 300 was stopped at southbound Edgewood Drive, waiting to cross Turner Road onto North California Street, while a vehicle traveling eastbound on Turner Road was attempting to turn left onto Edgewood Drive from the center turn lane.
The Chrysler pulled out to cross Turner Road, but the driver did not see a silver Toyota Corolla traveling east in the left lane, Delgado said.
The Corolla collided with the Chrysler, and both veered into the front of a black Dodge Ram pickup truck stopped at California Street and Turner Road that had been waiting to turn right, he said.
The Chrysler then collided with the stop sign at the corner, tearing it from its base.
The sign fell onto the Chrysler’s windshield before hitting the ground, and the vehicle lost its entire front right wheel and brake drum.
The Chrysler and Toyota both suffered major front end damage, while the Dodge sustained minor scratches to its front bumper, Delgado said.
“People always try to beat the oncoming traffic when they turn at this intersection, no matter which direction they’re going,” resident Sandra Weaver said at the scene. “You have to have patience at this intersection, and nobody seems to have it anymore.”
Weaver lives nearby and was walking her grandson around the neighborhood when she heard the collision.
She said she has lived in the area 25 years, and the intersection is one of the worst in Lodi.
“The thing I hate about California (Street) is that there are no stop signs from Turner to Lockeford Street,” she said. “Once people turn onto California from Turner, they just hit the gas and go. It’s ridiculous.”
Delgado said the driver of the Toyota complained of minor neck pain, but no other injuries were reported.
The driver of the Dodge was able to drive away from the scene, and the Toyota and Chrysler were both towed away.
The scene was cleared by 10:30 a.m.