An 11-year-old Ceres girl died over the weekend after the car in which she was riding was hit by a truck driven by a man who suffered a medical episode and lost consciousness, authorities said.
The girl was the rear left passenger in a Mercury Sable stopped at a red light on westbound Highway 132 at Santa Fe Avenue in Empire on Saturday afternoon, according to the California Highway Patrol.
Ronald Nole, 57, of Merced was approaching the intersection in a Ford F-250 when he suffered a medical episode and lost consciousness, his truck hitting the left rear side of the Mercury at about 45 mph, the CHP said.
The girl, whose name has not been released, suffered major injuries and was taken by helicopter to UC Davis Medical Center in Sacramento, where she died.
A 10-year-old boy and 24-year-old man, who also were passengers in the Mercury, were taken to Doctors Medical Center with minor injuries. The driver, 29-year-old Rachel Barragan, was taken to Memorial Medical Center with major injuries, according to the CHP.
Nole had minor injuries but was treated and released at the scene.
The impact from his car propelled the Mercury into a minivan stopped in front of it, but no one in that vehicle was injured.
Drugs or alcohol do not appear to have been factors in the crash, according to the CHP.