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Second victim in fatal Highway 99 wrong-way crash ID’d. Third killed was infant girl.

How to avoid a wrong-way driver

Houston Police Department Sgt. Robert Gonzales talks about how to avoid being struck by a wrong-way driver.
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Houston Police Department Sgt. Robert Gonzales talks about how to avoid being struck by a wrong-way driver.

Editor’s note: The California Highway Patrol’s Modesto office on Wednesday, Jan. 9 corrected information it released on a Dec. 22 head-on collision on Highway 99 north of Pelandale Avenue. It now says Salida resident Terilyn Peralta, driving a GMC Yukon, was going north in the southbound lanes. It previously had identified the driver of the Chevrolet Tahoe as going the wrong way.

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A second victim has been identified in the Dec. 22 crash on Highway 99 in Modesto that killed three people.

Marques A. Rodriguez, 32, of Manteca was identified by the Stanislaus County Coroner’s Office. According to the California Highway Patrol press release, that makes him the driver of a 2004 GMC Yukon that was going north in the southbound lanes early that morning.

The Rodriguez family on Tuesday, however, disputed that he was the wrong-way driver. The CHP confirmed late Tuesday afternoon that it was reviewing the case.

The Yukon first sideswiped a 1997 Toyota before hitting a 2007 Chevrolet Tahoe head-on, according to a news release. Both vehicles burst into flame.

The Tahoe driver, 24-year-old Modesto resident Terilyn Peralta, Rodriguez and his passenger all died at the scene. The Coroner’s Office has not released a positive identification of Rodriguez’s passenger, saying only the victim was an infant girl. On social media and a gofundme page, family members have identified her as his 5-month-old daughter.

It remains unknown whether drugs and/or alcohol played a role in the collision. CHP Officer Ming Hsu said the determination is awaiting toxicology test results.

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