MODESTO — Investigators were trying to determine the cause of an early morning accident Saturday that left a 26-year-old man dead in a quiet east Modesto neighborhood.
Police were called to Belharbour Drive just east of Roselle Avenue at 2:15 a.m. Saturday on a report that a vehicle struck a tree and separated in two.
Officer Scott Nelson of the Modesto Police Department said the man was driving a 2007 black Honda Accord east on Belharbour in Village I when for some reason the vehicle exited the road.
The car struck a curb and continued on before hitting a tree on the north side of the road just east of Rosetti Court.
The only passenger in the vehicle, a 19-year-old man, jumped out of the car. The driver was ejected near the vehicle.
The first officer on the scene began performing CPR when the car caught fire. The officer and a resident moved the victim away from the vehicle and the life-saving measures continued, Nelson said.
The man later was pronounced dead at the scene, Nelson said.
The passenger, who suffered a broken jaw, was taken to Doctors Medical Center.
Nelson said speed and an unsafe turning move could be factors in the accident. He said there was faint evidence of skid marks. The speed limit in the residential area is 25 mph.
Nelson said there was no physical evidence of alcohol or drugs at the scene, although those factors, along with speed, are still being investigated and have not been ruled out.
The passenger was wearing a seat belt. It's not known if the driver was, Nelson said.
The driver's identity was not released pending notification of his family.
There was no apparent property damage. The area of the crash on the north side of Belharbour is largely landscaping and a fence that borders the open end of a cul-de-sac of Calero Drive.
Belharbor was closed to traffic until about 8 a.m. Saturday.