Story Summary

Deputies Investigate SUV that Went Into Delta

San Joaquin County investigators say several bodies found in the Delta are connected to an SUV that crashed into the water over the weekend.

The driver called dispatchers anonymously, saying that they had escaped unharmed.

Story Timeline
Previous Next
This story has 7 updates

Investigators Still Looking for Answers in Delta SUV CrashSAN JOAQUIN COUNTY-

Two more bodies believed to have been inside an SUV that was pulled from the Middle River in San Joaquin County last week have been identified.

The bodies of 29-year-old Efrain Palominos and 32-year-old Mauricio Gonzalez were found in the river Wednesday. A total of five people have been pulled from the water.

The SUV reportedly crashed into the water early Sunday morning. Sheriff’s deputies got a call from someone saying their car had gone into the river, but that they were out safe.

Investigators are now looking for the caller.

Investigators Still Looking for Answers in Delta SUV CrashSAN JOAQUIN COUNTY-

Two more bodies were pulled from the Middle River in the San Joaquin County Delta Wednesday.

The bodies are believed to be connected to an SUV that crashed into the water over the weekend. The SUV was pulled from the water Sunday, but was found to be empty.

Five people in total were pulled from the water. Someone involved in the crash was able to call 911 after surviving, and investigators are trying to track that person down.

Investigators Still Looking for Answers in Delta SUV CrashSAN JOAQUIN COUNTY—

Authorities have released the identities of the three men pulled from the Delta after an SUV crashed into the water over the weekend.

Rafael Ontiveros, a 28-year-old Redwood City resident, Adrian Pena, a 40-year-old Santa Rosa resident, and Luis Cuevas were the bodies pulled from the water on Monday. San Joaquin authorities did not have an age or residence of Cuevas.

At least two more bodies are believed to be still in the water, authorities told FOX40.

The SUV crashed into the water near Bacon Island and Lower Jones Track roads at some point early Sunday morning. Authorities had pulled the SUV out by 1:30 p.m. Sunday, but found the car to be empty.

SAN JOAQUIN COUNTY–

Another day dragging the waters of the Delta off of Bacon Island, but still no closer to an answer about what happened out here on Sunday morning.

“Myself and my officers are trying to put the pieces together for the rest of the puzzle,” said Sgt. Jason Bartlett of the Stockton area CHP.

The problem lies not in the murky, green Delta water, but in the airwaves, “The initial caller, we still haven’t spoken to in person or know the identity,” Bartlett told FOX40. That has lead to confusion about how many people may have been inside the Chevy Tahoe when it plunged off the levy road. “It originally was five, then we also heard six and then sometimes seven and the highest number I’ve heard to this time was eight.”

The CHP and San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Department know for a fact that two men survived the crash, while three bodies were found Monday. But, they also believe at least two more men are in still in the water.

The San Joaquin County coroner has identified one of the bodies pulled from the water, but has yet to notify his family. The identities of the two other men recovered remain unknown.

Officers hope the initial caller, who they believe may have been the driver, gets in contact with them. If he doesn’t, the CHP says they may release his initial 911 call to the public to see if anyone recognizes his voice.

SAN JOAQUIN COUNTY-

Rafael Rivera and his cousins came to the scene again this evening where his cousin and as many as seven other people plunged into the water Sunday morning in an SUV.

“We were hoping they were still alive after yesterday,” Rivera told FOX40.

That Chevy Tahoe had no one inside when search crews pulled it out of the water Sunday afternoon but by Monday afternoon, three bodies had been found.

A fourth person made it out safely and called 911, but how many more are still in the water remains a mystery.

“We know the Tahoe can seat 8, but at this time we’ve heard there’s 5, 6, 7, and at one time maybe even 8 occupants,” said California Highway Patrol Sergeant Jason Bartlett.

One of the victims was identified is Rivera’s cousin Adrian Pena-Cornejo.

Pena-Cornejo leaves behind two small children and a wife, who is pregnant with their third.

“It’s really hard. It’s not just a casualty. It’s not just somebody passed away,” Rivera said. “It’s a dad that left babies behind. She’s in really bad shape.”

BLOAfQdCMAE0dVx

Crews working to pull the car from the water.

SAN JOAQUIN COUNTY-

San Joaquin County Sheriff’s deputies say the bodies of three men were pulled from the Delta Sunday night and Monday, all reportedly connected to an SUV that crashed into the water over the weekend.

Dispatchers got a call at about 5 a.m. from someone saying that they had crashed their car into the water along Bacon Island Road but had escaped unharmed, but was concerned about five fellow passengers. The caller did not leave a name.

Sheriff’s investigators suspended their search Monday afternoon because conditions in the water weren’t conducive for investigation.

Crews believe between two and four more bodies could be in the water, all possibly connected to the eight-seat SUV.

The SUV was not reported stolen.

BLOAfQdCMAE0dVx

Crews working to pull the car from the water.

SAN JOAQUIN COUNTY—

A car crashed into the water near Bacon Island and Lower Jones Track roads Sunday morning.

Dispatchers got a call sometime after 5 a.m., when the crash reportedly happened. Someone reported that they were in the car when it went over the edge, but that they had escaped unharmed.

DART was called out to the site of the crash around 11 a.m. and soon found the car.

The car was pulled out around 1:30 p.m.

Authorities say that the person who reported being in the crash did not leave their name. Further, the car has not been reported stolen.

Advertisement