An early morning accident on Thursday, Jan. 3 claimed the life of a Sonora woman and left a Riverbank man with major injuries.
The crash occurred on Orange Blossom Road near the intersection of Horseshoe Road, between Oakdale and Knights Ferry, just after 6:30 a.m. Thursday. According to the California Highway Patrol, the 24-year-old Sonora woman, identified as Joy Mata, was driving northbound on Orange Blossom in a Honda Accord, at an undetermined speed, and allowed her car to travel over into the southbound lane. At the same time, a white Toyota Tacoma, driven by Mark Oosterman, 40, of Riverbank was southbound at approximately 40 to 45 mph. Authorities said when Oosterman saw the white Honda in his lane, he attempted to take evasive action. He moved to the right shoulder of the road in an attempt to avoid the collision but the front end of the Honda collided with the front end of the Toyota.
The woman was pronounced dead at the scene from injuries sustained in the crash. Oosterman had major injuries. CHP officials said Oosterman was wearing his seatbelt; the female victim was not. They were the only ones in the vehicles and both lanes of Orange Blossom Road were blocked for a period of time while the investigation and rescue operations were conducted.