CRASH KILLS SENIOR CITIZEN
A 90-year-old driver from Walnut Creek was killed early Sunday morning when his 2002 Ford pickup failed to make a curve on Highway 120 in Escalon, police reported. Wesley Carpenter was pronounced dead at the scene after his truck ran into an empty building on Third Street. Escalon police said the truck would remain in the building until it's determined whether the vehicle can be safely removed. Three dogs who were also in the truck were unhurt and are being kept in an Escalon shelter.
A driver in a black car set off a five-car chain reaction crash in north Modesto on Monday that led to a two-hour traffic jam. Lt. Scott Blum, watch commander for the Modesto Police Department, said the black vehicle was traveling south on Coffee Road just north of the Sylvan Avenue intersection at 12:47 p.m. It hit one car and that caused three more collisions. Five cars were damaged. The driver of the black car that triggered the crashes fled. Two people had to be freed from their vehicles by the Modesto Fire Department. Blum said their injuries were not life-threatening. Police arrested one motorist who was a victim of the hit-and-run. Russell Benson, 44, was held on suspicion of driving under the influence.
MANTECA GETS TOUGH ON DUI
The Manteca Police Department is rolling out a two-year program to crack down on driving under the influence and other unsafe driving. The department announced Monday that until September 2009, an officer will be specifically assigned to coordinate education and enforcement programs. The department received a $208,972 grant to fund the program from the state Office of Traffic Safety through the national Highway Traffic Safety Administration. It will include checkpoints for people driving under the influence, the training of 60 officers in field sobriety testing and other enforcement operations targeting those who speed, run red lights and don't wear seat belts, according to a department press release. The projects are designed to reduce the number of people killed or seriously injured on the road.