Two people died and a third suffered major injuries in a crash late Friday.
According to the California Highway Patrol, the accident was reported at 11:55 p.m. at Highway 165 and Williams Avenue. The intersection is just south of Hilmar.
A 30-year-old man was driving a Honda Civic east on Williams Avenue at an unknown speed. At the same time, a 63-year-old woman was driving a 2000 Ford F-150 north on Highway 165 at about 60 mph.
The intersection is controlled by a two-way stop sign on Williams. The Civic driver ran the stop sign, and the right front of the car collided with the left front of the truck.
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Capt. Bert DeCosta of the Merced County Fire Department’s Hilmar station said firefighters from Hilmar and Stevinson stations were called to the scene at 12:01 a.m.
Both drivers, whose names and hometowns were not released, were pronounced dead at the scene. A medical helicopter, landing at the Hilmar High School campus just north of the accident, took a man who was a passenger in the truck to the hospital, DeCosta said. The CHP identified the man as Russell Prouty, 63, of Hickman and said he was taken to Memorial Medical Center in Modesto with major injuries.
It is not clear why the Civic driver missed the stop sign, the CHP said in a news release. Investigation into the incident continues. Officers do not know if drugs or alcohol was a factor.