Dirt bike smashup kills four people

CERES -- The Stanislaus County Coroner today released the names of four people who died early Sunday after the two dirt bikes they were riding collided in a rural area south of town.

Deputy Coroner Katie Soto identified the victims as Thomas Moore, 33, of Ceres; his wife, Kelly Moore, 30; his sister, Cynthia Moore, 29, of Ceres; and Michael Stokes, 33, of Ceres.

California Highway Patrol officer Brandon Moore said investigators believe the bikes collided on a dirt road between 1:30 a.m. and 3:30 a.m. Sunday, based on accounts from residents who said they heard motorcycles during that time. The accident was northwest of Crows Landing and West Taylor roads.

Someone who lives nearby found the bodies about 8:20 Sunday morning, Moore said. They were found on a dirt road that comes off a canal bank, said officer Tom Killian, a CHP spokesman.

There were no signs of drugs or alcohol, but authorities are investigating whether they had any role in the crash, Moore said. He is not related to the victims.

Bee staff writer Emilie Raguso can be reached at eraguso@modbee.com or 578-2235.

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