MODESTO -- A chunk of concrete dislodged from the center barrier seconds after a truck slammed into it crashed through the windshield of an oncoming pickup Thursday morning, killing the driver in a chain-reaction collision on Highway 99 in Modesto.
Four vehicles were involved in the wreck that stalled traffic over hours for miles in both directions.
The collision happened about 11 a.m. when 25-year-old Zhyan Wang of Turlock was driving her Toyota north on the highway just south of the Woodland Avenue overpass, according to California Highway Patrol officer Eric Parsons.
Driving in the far left lane, Wang tried to move to the center lane but sideswiped a box truck, Parsons said.
The driver of the truck, Gabriel Icmat, 36, of Alameda, lost control and crashed into the concrete center barrier just before the overpass.
Large chunks of concrete torn off the barrier flew through the air and into the path of a white Ford F-150 heading south on 99.
The concrete slammed through the windshield of the Ford, killing the 52-year-old driver from Antelope, northeast of Sacramento.
Victim's pickup kept going
His Ford continued about a quarter of a mile down the highway toward Kansas Avenue before being stopped by the center barrier. The box truck flipped and came to rest on its side near the center barrier near the southbound lanes. Wang stopped near the center barrier of the northbound lanes.
Wayne McConnell, 54, of Salida was driving behind the Ford in a vehicle owned by Stanislaus County. Concrete debris hit McConnell's windshield, but he was not injured. He drove to the Kansas Avenue exit and stayed at the scene, Parsons said.
A white sedan behind McConnell swerved to avoid the concrete in the southbound lanes and drove off the side of the right shoulder. The female driver did not suffer any injuries or property damage.
Wang and Icmat suffered minor injuries, Parsons said.
The name of the driver who died was not released Thursday because his family has not been notified.
Two of the three southbound lanes were closed until 1:30 p.m. and the northbound fast lane opened shortly after 1 p.m.
Bee staff writer Erin Tracy can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (209) 578-2366.
See video from scene below