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11-Year-Old from Lodi Killed in I-5 Crash

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NEWMAN, Calif. –

A young child died in a car crash on Saturday night, and the driver who caused the crash was arrested for second degree murder.

According to California Highway Patrol in Merced, the driver and 4 other passengers were on northbound I-5 near the city of Newman around 7 p.m.

The driver, Guillermo Graciano, 47, was driving around 85 miles per hour.  Graciano lost control of his car, and it drifted toward the right shoulder of the freeway. The car then rolled several times. An 11-year-old boy was ejected from the middle seat and was pronounced dead at the scene. The child was not wearing a seatbelt.

According to police, Graciano said he lost control of his car when his back wheels began to separate, but they found no evidence of that. Police found him to be driving under the influence of alcohol, and arrested him.

All people involved in the accident are from Lodi. One of the passengers, Gloria Lopez, 41, sustained major injuries and was rushed to Modesto Memorial Hospital. There were also two teenage girls in the car, and they were taken to Doctor’s Medical Center with minor to moderate injuries.

Due to having prior convictions of DUI, Graciano’s charges were increased from vehicular manslaughter to second degree murder. He is being held without bail at the Stanislaus County Jail.