On January 10th, 2019, at approximately 06:12 am, Merced Communication Center (MCC) received a report of collision with an ambulance responding in the area of Shaffer Road north of Palm Avenue.
Merced CHP units responded and arrived at the scene. Upon investigation, it was determined a 2007 GMC Yukon was traveling northbound on Shaffer Road, during heavy dense fog conditions, when its driver, 19-year-old Merced resident, Uziel Martinez, moved his vehicle from the northbound lane to the southbound lane in an attempt to overtake a 2000 Jeep Grand Cherokee it was following.
The Jeep was being driven by 43-year-old Atwater resident Carlos Nava. This resulted in the GMC colliding head-on with an approaching 4 door Toyota Camry traveling southbound on Shaffer Road north of Palm Avenue.
The Toyota was being driven by a 65-year-old male out of Livingston. As a result of this collision, the rear end of the GMC kicked out to the right where the right rear struck the front left of the Jeep.
The GMC left the roadway and came to rest in an orchard on the east side of Shaffer Road. The Jeep left the roadway and also came to rest in the orchard on the east side of the roadway. According to officer Zuniga, the Toyota left the roadway and came to rest on the west side of the roadway.
The Driver of the Toyota had to be extracted from the vehicle by fire personnel, upon removal CPR was performed but he was pronounced deceased at the scene.
Three passengers in the Yukon were also injured, one was transported to the hospital for complaint of pain, the other two were released, seeking their own medical aid.
All three passengers in the Toyota were transported to the hospital for complaints of pain. No drugs or alcohol are suspected in this collision.
The collision is still under investigation and charges are pending.