Police Investigating Deadly Lodi Crash as Homicide

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Photo of Morales provided by Lodi PD.


Lodi Police Chief Mark Helms released more details Monday into his department’s investigation into last week’s deadly pileup on Ham Lane.

Six people, including a pregnant woman and her unborn child, died in the crash.

Police say 28-year-old Ryan Morales caused the wreck.

“I want to begin by making it clear this horrific event was not an accident,” Helms said at a media briefing. “In my view, this was the heinous act of one person that resulted in six senseless deaths, including an unborn child, and critical injuries to a 9-year-old boy who has been fighting for his life.”

That 9-year-old boy is Eden Miranda, the sole survivor of one of the cars involved in the crash. The car also contained five of Miranda’s family members, one of whom was seven months pregnant. Miranda’s condition is improving, police say.

Helms said that Morales hasn’t been arrested yet because of his condition, and that it’s “unlikely [Morales] will be released from the hospital anytime soon.”

Investigators believe Morales had been drinking before getting behind the wheel, though test results are still pending.

Once Lodi Police wrap up its investigation, the case will be handed over to the San Joaquin County District Attorney’s Office. Helms noted that it may take months.

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