A Waterford man who was tailgating other drivers and illegally passing them east of Ceres lost control of his vehicle and wound up in a canal Thursday morning, authorities said.
A witness reported the man, identified as 30-year-old Oscar Flores, had been been tailgating him for a while as they drove west on Hatch Road at about 7:42 a.m., said California Highway Patrol Officer Ruben Perez.
Just west of Parks Road Flores, “moved into the two-way left turn lane and passed the witness and two other cars,” Perez said. Witnesses estimated he was traveling about 80 mph.
Flores was attempting to pass another vehicle, a Dodge pickup, but at the last minute pulled back into the westbound lane.
He nearly rear ended the pickup and in order to avoid a collision he steered right and onto the north shoulder.
Flores then turned his vehicle left; it rotated then hit a one-foot embankment on the south side of the road. The vehicle overturned onto the canal bank then continued into the canal where it landed upright in about eight feet of water.
Flores was able to get out of the car and onto the shore, Perez said. He was wet, but uninjured.
Flores’ vehicle, which wound up nearly submerged and 60 yards from the location it first entered the water, had to be pulled out by a tow truck.