Driver Faces Charges in Deadly Modesto Crash

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MODESTO -- One driver is dead and another faces serious charges in his death. A man speeding northbound on Tully Road around 9 a.m. Wednesday rammed into two cars for unknown reasons, according to the Modesto Police Department.

A Mercedes was so badly damaged the front hood looked as if it was peeled off. The impact of the crash was so great it killed the driver of a Lexus and injured 67-year-old Lupe Cardenas.

"Oh my God, ah accident! And then… I get out here and I saw the accident,” Nilda Zwicker said.

Zwicker lives near the deadly crash site on Tully and Rumble roads in Modesto, close to Grace Davis High School.

She said she was watching TV when she heard a loud crash around 9:15 a.m.

"My cousin went to see him and he was laying like this and blood running all over his face,” she explained.

A spokeswoman with the Modesto Police Department said for unknown reasons, Cardenas was speeding northbound on Tully Road. He rammed into a car further south on Tully Road twice. Then he sped off, crashing into the Lexus, which was stopped at a red light.

"We don’t have any indication that he may have been under the influence, but clearly we did do a toxicology screening so we will wait for that to come back to make a better judgment,” said Heather Graves, a spokeswoman with the Modesto Police Department.

Both Cardenas and the other driver were taken to the hospital where the other driver died. Cardenas will be OK, but his legal troubles are just beginning.

“(Cardenas was) treated for minor injuries and is now being booked into the Stanislaus County jail for manslaughter,” Graves said.

As to why Cardenas was speeding, investigators do not believe road rage is a factor, but they are looking at possible drugged or drunk driving.

“It does appear to be random, yes,” Graves told FOX40.

As for those who saw this tragedy, their thoughts and prayers are with the victim’s family.

"Yeah, it’s really sad. People should be more cautious about driving,” Guillermo Silva said.

Cardenas also faces possible assault with a deadly weapon charges for the first crash he was involved in. The Modesto Police Department is asking for witnesses for either crash to come forward.


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