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Summer Holiday Sees River Fun, Fireworks
A tree proved the perfect jumping off point for area youths taking the opportunity to cool down in Mondays 90-plus degree holiday heat. Marg Jackson/The Times

Escalon Police were kept busy with a host of illegal fireworks complaints on Monday evening and also responded to a vehicle accident, while people flocked to McHenry Recreation Area throughout the weekend to enjoy the cool waters of the Stanislaus River.

Police said the accident, which left a 20-year-old man with serious injuries, occurred on Tamara Court about 8:20 p.m. Monday, July 4.

“The driver was an 18-year-old female,” explained Sgt. Milt Medeiros, one of the officers responding to the scene.

She was moving a pick-up truck, the sergeant said, and was being guided forward by her boyfriend, the 20-year-old who was injured.

“He was standing about five feet in front of the truck, she put it into gear and it lurched forward,” Medeiros said. “She went to hit the brake, her foot slid and she pressed down on the gas, pretty hard.”

The truck struck the man, pinning him between the truck his girlfriend was moving and another parked pick-up. The force also propelled the man and the vehicle that was struck several feet.

“He sustained a broken femur, possibly two, and a pelvic injury,” Medeiros said, adding that the 20-year-old was undergoing surgery at a Modesto hospital on Tuesday.

“They were both from Nevada, visiting family for the holiday,” he said of the couple.

He added that there was no alcohol use involved in the incident.

Meanwhile, officers were kept busy Monday night, with the first call of illegal aerial fireworks coming in shortly before 8 p.m. Calls were received from Coley, Yosemite, Briarwood, Genevieve, Allison, First and Brennan and Weiss Way regarding the fireworks being set off. All were the overhead aerial display type that are not legal unless used in a professionally produced show. Authorities did not report any injuries or fires as a result of the fireworks and did not make any arrests in conjunction with the calls. Booths throughout the community did offer the Safe and Sane fireworks and many neighborhoods did utilize those for celebrating the holiday.

Earlier in the day, at McHenry Recreation Area, Park Host Jim Young said he and his wife Heather had been busy, with the park filling up. He also pointed to many of the park visitors playing it safe, utilizing the free ‘loaner’ life jackets provided through the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

“All we ask it that you return them when you leave,” Young said of the life jackets.

The life jacket loaner program is aimed at helping save lives by keeping those going in the river safe; several drownings have already been recorded in the Stanislaus-San Joaquin County area this year, including a San Jose man who drowned over the weekend at Modesto Reservoir.

Those jamming in to McHenry Rec on Monday were floating and splashing, some were at barbecue grills cooking up a holiday lunch, others were just enjoying some time relaxing in the sun.