A Sunday evening accident claimed the life of an area man and also resulted in the arrest of the driver. The victim was identified as John Hughes, 61, while the driver was identified as Matthew Timothy Keith, 28, of Oakdale.
According to the California Highway Patrol, the crash occurred along Highway 120, west of 26-Mile Road north of Oakdale. The CHP received notification of a vehicle collision in the area and emergency personnel arrived on scene to find a man lying near the north fog line along Highway 120. Officials said Hughes was taken by ambulance to Oak Valley Hospital, where he succumbed to his injuries. He was living with a family member in the Oakdale area, authorities said.
Further investigation determined that the victim was injured as a result of a vehicle vs. pedestrian accident involving a DUI driver.
The preliminary investigation by the CHP officers on scene determined that the victim, Hughes, was walking westbound on Highway 120, just west of 26-Mile Road on Sunday evening, Feb. 9 while Keith was driving a 2017 Chevy pickup westbound on the highway, also just west of 26-Mile Road. The right side of the pick-up struck the victim, according to the CHP report, and Keith continued westbound on Highway 120 following the collision. At about 9:30 p.m., the CHP received a call from Keith, who indicated he had struck an unknown object along the highway earlier in the evening. Officers responded to Keith’s residence and determined he was the other involved party in this fatal collision. It was also determined that Keith was under the influence of alcohol at the time of the collision. He was placed under arrest for DUI and hit and run and was taken to the Stanislaus County Public Safety Center and booked on the two felony charges.
Further action is pending in the case. CHP officials said Hughes had previously lived in Newman but most recently was staying with family in Oakdale.