A three-vehicle accident on the eve of the Fourth of July holiday resulted in the death of an Escalon woman. She was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash on Highway 120 at Cleveland Avenue, east of Escalon and just west of Oakdale.
Authorities said Wanda Hendrickson, 71, died of injuries sustained when her vehicle was struck, first from behind, and then by an oncoming vehicle.
California Highway Patrol officials said the crash occurred just before 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, July 3. Hendrickson was driving a 2013 Scion eastbound and, according to the CHP report, had slowed to make a left turn onto North Cleveland.
As she slowed down, her vehicle was struck from behind by a second eastbound driver, a 39-year-old Modesto man who was driving a 2013 Ford F-150 pick-up. The impact pushed her vehicle into the westbound lane and into the path of an oncoming driver. The CHP said that driver, a 24-year-old man from Oakdale, was unable to avoid striking Hendrickson’s vehicle even though he applied the brakes and tried to steer his 2009 Chevrolet pick-up off the roadway after observing the first collision. The front of his vehicle collided with the left side of the Scion, pinning Hendrickson in her vehicle.
Authorities said two passersby stopped at the scene and provided first aid until fire and emergency personnel arrived on scene but Hendrickson succumbed to her injuries.
The CHP said neither of the other two drivers sustained physical injuries; all involved were wearing their seatbelts and the initial investigation indicated drugs and/or alcohol were not a factor.