Police showed up to the two-car crash at West Valpico Road and Sycamore Parkway at about 3:40 p.m. Saturday, finding one car on the center median and the other in the middle of the intersection, according to Tracy police Sgt. Luis Mejia. Tracy police closed the intersection for a few hours for investigation and cleanup.
Tracy police spokesman Sgt. Tony Sheneman said Tuesday that an investigation into the cause of the crash is ongoing and that he had no further details.
Photos show that a silver Honda collided with a dark blue Mercedes-Benz SUV. The driver’s side of the Honda was smashed in. A relative identified the man who died in the crash as Ricardo Navia, a 45-year-old from Modesto who was in town to visit another family member.
Sheneman said an autopsy report is being compiled.
Police records say the driver of the Mercedes walked away before officers arrived, but that might be a miscommunication, according to the sister of one of the SUV’s passengers. She said a witness misidentified her brother — who panicked and left the vehicle — as the driver. The sister, who asked not to be identified, said her brother is only 15 and was a passenger.
The driver, she said, was her brother’s 16-year-old best friend, whom she also refused to identify by name.
Both were wearing white T-shirts, the relative said, but her brother’s shirt had paintball stains on the back. There were paintballs in the back of the SUV, she said, and they exploded upon impact.
Emergency responders ordered a helicopter to take one person to Doctors Hospital in Modesto and sent Tracy police Chaplain Don Higgins to the hospital shortly after the crash, after reports arrived that Navia was dying, according to the dispatch log.