The first crash occurred May 10, the same day Tracy resident Rayfield Halsell was reported missing by family to the Tracy Police Department.
According to reports from Lt. Wade Harper and Adam Shelton of the California Highway Patrol, Halsell’s body was found inside his overturned 2001 Honda Accord lying in a creek bed off Corral Hollow Road a mile south of Interstate 580 on May 12 by friends who were driving the road looking for him.
Harper said Halsell’s wife called police at 4:04 a.m. May 10 when he didn’t return home from work. She told police he hadn’t been sleeping well and that he often drove the back roads. Harper said she had feared that he might have fallen asleep behind the wheel.
Shelton said CHP officers concluded Halsell had been traveling north on Corral Hollow Road when he failed to turn with the roadway.
Shelton said the car drifted onto the right shoulder, hit a dirt mound and bounced back toward the opposite side of the road. The car spun once and became airborne, Shelton said, flying off the western part of the roadway.
Hidden by reeds in the creek, Halsell’s car was found upside down in the water two days later by family friends. He was pronounced dead at the scene, and Shelton said he had been wearing a seatbelt.
A second man died in a separate crash around 11:25 a.m. May 13 when his 1992 Jeep crashed off Interstate 5, according to the CHP.
The county coroner’s office identified the man in that accident as 64-year-old Milburn Dunham of Vacaville.
Shelton said a witness saw the driver going north on I-5 when his left rear tire blew out and he lost control. Shelton said the Jeep went off the east-side shoulder, overturned through a fence and landed on its roof on Bevis Road.
Shelton said the man later identified as Dunham was not wearing a seatbelt, was ejected from the car. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
Editor's note: This article was corrected from its original version, which misidentified the man killed in the May 13 crash on Interstate 5.