Crashes Along Same Stretch of Highway Claim 3 People’s Lives in One Month

OAKDALE -- Jan. 3, 18 and 27 -- different dates, different accidents, different lives lost, but there was one thing in common.

Eddie Gonzalez Jr., Zachery Moore and Kathy Lopez all crashed on the same part of Highway 108/120 in Oakdale between Kennedy Road and Lancaster Road. They all leave behind devastated families.

"Being the guy that has to tell your family that their mother or grandmother is gone is not something you sign up for on any day," said Jayon Sloan, Kathy Lopez's son.

Between 2010 and 2017 there were five fatalities reported on a stretch of the highway, according to the CHP. Now there has been three deaths in just one month.

The CHP can't say exactly why there has been an uptick in accidents on the roadway, just that drivers need to be more aware.

The stretch of Kennedy Road just off Highway 108 is windy, hilly and, in the dark, difficult to see. The six mile drive from Kennedy Road to Lancaster Road has been prompting a warning from the CHP and grieving families.

To be part of January's shocking statistic is hard for Kathy Lopez's family to wrap their minds around.

"I was stunned because my mother is such a safe driver," Sloan said.

The 57-year-old was riding Jan. 27 with motorcycle group Lady Bikers of California when family says she lost control and hit a ditch.

"There should've been something right there, 'Caution, giant ditch that's not covered.' That whole road needs to be reevaluated because if there were three deaths in one month that's telling you something," said Kathy's daughter, Sarah Murray.

Gonzales, just 23 years old, crossed over the double yellow lines and crashed into another car. A similar situation happened with 20-year-old Moore, according to investigators.

Caltrans spokesman Rick Estrada told FOX40 there are no plans to put up additional signage along that stretch of road. One current project, repaving 34 miles of the highway from Lancaster Road into Tuolumne County, has been in the works for a while and is not related to the crashes.