MODESTO — Police are investigating whether racing played a role in a fatal crash in Modesto on Monday night.
According to police, the wreck occurred at 9:48 p.m. when the driver of a 2004 Pontiac GTO, heading east on Briggsmore Avenue east of Prescott Road, lost control and the car hit a retaining wall on the south side of the road.
The driver, 36-year-old Riverbank resident Jeremy Rightnour, is believed to have been ejected from the car. He was taken to a hospital but died of his injuries, police said in a news release. Police had not determined if Rightnour had been wearing his seat belt at the time of the crash. He was the only person in the car.
Investigators said alcohol did not appear to be a factor.
The section of Briggsmore where the crash occurred curves noticeably to the south and is bordered on both sides by retaining walls.
Witnesses who saw the car before the wreck told police the driver may have been racing with another car, described as a white or silver BMW sedan. Authorities said that driver did not stop, and they do not know if he or she was aware of the crash.
Two men were at the scene Tuesday morning, salvaging what was left from the wreckage Pontiac parts, car-cleaning products and an unopened bottle of Jagermeister.
Police are reviewing video surveillance that may have captured images of the incident. They ask anyone with information to contact Officer Scott Nelson at (209) 652-2160.