Lodi man dies in Highway 88 crash

Emergency workers inspect a fatal three-vehicle crash on Highway 88 just north of Harney Lane on Saturday, Feb. 21, 2015. The scene was cleared by 1 p.m. Saturday.

California Highway Patrol officials are investigating what caused a fatal crash on Highway 88 just north of Harney Lane on Feb. 21.

According to CHP officials, the accident involved three vehicles at 10:15 a.m. on Saturday.

A 1998 Plymouth driven by a 28-year-old Lodi man was traveling south on Highway 88 at an unknown rate of speed, the CHP said.

A 48-year-old Turlock woman driving a 1992 Dodge was traveling north at about 55 miles an hour. She was followed by a 66-year-old Lockeford man driving a 2013 Chevrolet, according to CHP.

For an unknown reason, the Plymouth veered into the northbound lanes of the highway, colliding head on with the Dodge, police said. The Plymouth then veered off the road and came to rest on the west side of the highway, officers said.

The Dodge rotated counter-clockwise, and the trailing Chevrolet collided with the driver's side of the car, officers said. The Dodge and Chevrolet veered onto the eastern side of the highway and came to a stop.

Carol Greener, of Pioneer, witnessed the accident and said the Plymouth driver had been driving recklessly for at least seven minutes prior to the collision.

She and her husband were also driving southbound along Highway 88 when the Lodi man approached at a high rate of speed behind them just past Clements, she said.

“He came right up on us, wound around and cut in front of us,” she said. “Then he crossed to the far left shoulder, and drove against traffic on the shoulder for a while before he whisked back into traffic.”

Greener said she immediately dialed 911 when she saw the Plymouth drive on the shoulder. She said the driver must have been speeding at about 70 or 80 miles an hour, and almost hit another car during the ordeal.

The Greeners were able to get ahead of the driver again, and were almost hit themselves when attempting to take down his license plate information for CHP dispatch, she sad.

“My husband pulled into the turn lane at the light in Lodi to get his license plate and he cut us off again, almost hitting our passenger side,” she said. “Then he drove down the center lane for a while and kept swerving.”

About 30 seconds later the Plymouth collided with the Dodge, Greener said.

The Lodi man driving the Plymouth, who remains unidentified, died at the scene. The woman was transported to an area hospital and was treated for major injures.

The third driver was treated for minor injuries at the scene, officers said.

The scene was cleared by 1 p.m. Saturday. CHP is investigating whether drugs or alcohol were a factor in the collision.

Contact reporter Wes Bowers at wesb@lodinews.com.


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