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Trio of accidents claim three lives
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Three accidents – over the course of just a few days in the past week – resulted in the deaths of three people, two from Oakdale and one from Ceres. Both Oakdale residents succumbed to injuries sustained in motorcycle accidents.

In the first incident, which was reported by the Sonora Area California Highway Patrol, an Oakdale woman died as the result of a solo motorcycle crash on Thursday, June 6 about 2:30 p.m.

CHP officials said the 34-year-old woman – who was later identified as Lauren Renteria of Oakdale – was riding a 2024 Yamaha motorcycle, traveling eastbound on State Route 108, east of Clark Fork Road at an undetermined speed. The CHP report indicated that, for an unknown reason, Renteria allowed the motorcycle to leave the roadway, where it overturned. She was ejected from the motorcycle and succumbed to her injuries. She was wearing a motorcycle helmet at the time of the incident. Authorities said the crash is still under investigation in hopes of determining the cause.

Later on Thursday, a head-on collision east of Oakdale on Orange Blossom Road, just west of Wamble Road, resulted in the death of a Ceres man and left an Oakdale woman with major injuries, her grandson with minor injuries.

The Modesto Area CHP handled that investigation and said the crash occurred about 5:35 p.m. on Thursday, June 6.

Investigating officers said a 2001 Ford Mustang driven by a 23-year-old Ceres man was eastbound on Orange Blossom, traveling at a high rate of speed. The man was identified by the Stanislaus County Coroner’s Office as Kevin Adams. According to the CHP report, Adams was approaching the rear of a vehicle in front of him, as that vehicle slowed to make a right turn off the roadway. Adams swerved to the left of the double yellow lines to avoid rear-ending the vehicle in front of him but swerved into the westbound lane, directly into the path of an oncoming vehicle. That vehicle, a 1995 Jeep Wrangler, was westbound on Orange Blossom at about 55 miles per hour and was unable to take evasive action to avoid being struck head on. The force of the collision pushed the Jeep back onto the right shoulder of the roadway, where it overturned on to its passenger side.

Adams, who authorities said was not wearing his seatbelt, suffered fatal injuries and was pronounced deceased on the scene. Due the high-speed impact, the CHP report stated use of a seatbelt by Adams would not have made a difference in the outcome.

However, the driver of the Jeep, a 67-year-old Oakdale woman, was wearing her seatbelt and though she had major injuries, including multiple fractures and lacerations, she was taken to Memorial Hospital in Modesto and was reported to be improving. The passenger in her vehicle, identified as her four-year-old grandson out of San Mateo, was in a car booster seat which was secured by a seatbelt. He sustained only minor injuries, primarily a contusion to the left side of his forehead. The CHP indicated their injuries would have been more severe if they had not been properly restrained.

The investigation into the crash is ongoing.

In the third fatal crash, a solo motorcyclist died of injuries sustained on Saturday afternoon, June 8 along State Route 132 at Crabtree Road near Roberts Ferry. The incident occurred shortly before 2:30 p.m. and the motorcyclist was identified by the Stanislaus County Coroner’s Office as Dustin Pace, 19, of Oakdale. He was driving a 2006 Suzuki at the time of the Saturday crash.

Emergency personnel arriving on scene of the call located both the motorcycle and rider on the northeast corner of the intersection.

The preliminary CHP investigation indicates Pace was eastbound on State Route 132, approaching the intersection with Crabtree Road He attempted to make a left turn on to Crabtree but, for unknown reasons, was unable to negotiate the turn. Authorities said the motorcycle continued traveling northeast, left the roadway and struck a barbed wire fence. Pace was ejected from the motorcycle and came to rest a short distance away from the crash site. He was wearing a helmet at the time of the collision. The crash remains under investigation.