At about 3:40 p.m. Saturday, a blue Mercedes-Benz SUV hit the driver’s side of a small silver Honda at the intersection of West Valpico Road and Sycamore Parkway, photos show. The crash killed back seat passenger Ricardo Navia, a 45-year-old Modesto man who worked in San Jose, who leaves behind a wife, Silvia, and three kids.
Relatives of Navia have set up a fund at Washington Mutual to help pay for his funeral, and to give financial aid to others now out of work due to crash injuries, said Navia relative Armida Arroyo. The account number is 4463813878. Arroyo can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The SUV that slammed killed Navia came to rest on the center median and the Honda stopped in the middle of the intersection, according to Tracy police Sgt. Luis Mejia.
The three other people in the car are recovering in a Modesto hospital. Navia’s sister, who suffered spinal injuries, was driving. Her husband, who had broken ribs, was in the passenger seat and their son, who has a broken wrist and a punctured lung, was behind him, a Navia relative said.
“They were coming too fast,” he said. “They didn’t see anyone.”
Tracy police spokesman Sgt. Tony Sheneman said officers are doing a computer simulation of the intersection, using data collected from the scene of the crash. Investigators are also looking at debris recovered from the intersection.
Sheneman said he was not sure if the SUV was racing another car.
“That would be a logical portion of any vehicle collision investigation,” he said.
Navia’s autopsy has been completed, Sheneman believed, but it is still in the San Joaquin County Coroner’s Office. Officers are still doing interviews with those involved in the crash, Sheneman said, and no definitive information will be released until the investigation is done.
Police records say the driver of the Mercedes walked away before officers arrived, but a person who's related to a passenger disagrees with that claim.
A sister of one of the SUV passenger's said a witness mistook the driver for her brother, as both were wearing white T-shirts. The sister said her brother panicked and walked away for a bit, but the driver told police that he was the one operating the vehicle.
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