Just as the traffic was ramping up with an influx of visitors for the weekend Oakdale Rodeo, a late afternoon accident at the city’s east end resulted in one fatality. The Friday, April 7 accident occurred about 4:45 p.m. and claimed the life of Christene Busser, 47, of Modesto, according to police.
The crash involved three vehicles and caused massive traffic back-ups in the east end of Oakdale.
Oakdale Police Department Public Information Officer Janeen Yates said the older model Ford Mustang driven by Busser was westbound on Highway 120-108, coming in to Oakdale when it collided with an eastbound big rig tractor trailer near the intersection of Highway 120-108 at South Stearns Road.
A Chevy pick-up, apparently also westbound, said Yates, struck the vehicles and had major front end damage.
Oakdale Police and CHP officers cooperated in the investigation and in processing the scene. Busser was pronounced dead at the scene; the drivers of the other two vehicles had minor injuries. Neither was transported, said Yates.
“Traffic was being diverted eastbound, Stearns to Sierra and westbound, Wamble to Sierra,” Yates said at the scene on Friday, with officers having to re-route the heavy early evening traffic.
No official cause had been determined at press time; several tow trucks were on scene to haul away the damaged vehicles.
The big rig cab was at an angle, off the roadway just east of Stearns with the trailer on the shoulder, while the Mustang was in the middle of the roadway near the turn lane for Stearns. The pick-up truck was also sideways in the road, at the highway and Stearns.
Traffic was detoured for a few hours while the investigation was completed and clean up conducted.