MODESTO -- With cars driving as fast as 70 miles an hour on southbound 99 in Modesto, the slow lane is no place for an argument.
But that’s exactly what Modesto police investigators say took place on June 18 -- a road rage incident that sent Adrian Gomez to the hospital.
“When [officers] got there, there was a man in the roadway. He was rushed to a local hospital where he remained hospitalized for about a week,” said Heather Graves with the Modesto Police Department.
Gomez had head trauma, an injury so severe, he didn’t survive.
FOX40 reached out to his family. Relatives said they’re too heartbroken to talk, but said in a statement, "Adrian filled our family with endless memories of love and laughter, and there won’t be a day that goes by that he is not missed."
Family members also shared on a GoFundMe page that Gomez had just left his parents’ house on Father’s Day as a passenger in a truck.
At the time of the incident, FOX40 reporter Kay Recede was heading to Modesto. She saw an immediate slowdown near the Kansas Avenue exit and vehicles were veering toward the middle and fast lanes because an older model Honda Civic had stopped in the slow lane. She saw the driver of that car had stuck his middle finger out his window. Seconds later, a truck pulled over right in front of the Civic. Two men exited the truck, both looked angry. She called 911 right away.
"Actually a couple individuals out of the truck got out and made their way toward another vehicle.” Graves said.
Investigators say one of the men was Gomez, but what’s not clear is why the argument began.
"That vehicle sped off and struck one of the passengers inside the car,” Graves said.
As for the driver of the Civic, investigators say the believe they’ve found their suspect and it’s only a matter of time before an arrest is made.
"We're working on obviously building a case so we can do that,” Graves said.
The family also explained in the statement that they made the decision to donate his organs and that they’re hoping to meet with the person who receives his heart one day.