July 17th (Patrice Garby)
A Ford Explorer carrying central valley farm workers was involved in an SUV accident that killed at least 5 people on Tuesday. The SUV reportedly collided with a Septic Truck while traveling southbound along the Delta-Mendota Canal, about 15 miles South West of Modesto. Both the SUV and the Septic truck ended up in the canal.
Divers pulled 4 victims from the canal that were reportedly riding in the SUV. The 5th victim was believed to be the driver of the Septic Truck. Pete Lucero, the Bureau of Reclamation spokesman, reportedly said “Both vehicles careened into the swift currents of the canal, which runs about 17 feet deep and 100 feet wide in the area where the crash occurred.” The canal is 117 miles long and channels water from the C. W. “Bill” Jones Pumping Plant in Tracy to the western part of the San Joaquin Valley.
The Septic truck owner, United Site Services Inc. declined the immediate release the name of the driver. A Spokeswoman for the Massachusetts based company stated that the driver had been cleaning the portable toilets just before the accident happened. The septic truck was carrying non-toxic waste and the contents of the vehicle were not shown to be spilled into the canal.
The water flow to the canal was reported slowed by the Delta Mendota Water Authority while rescue efforts were underway.
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