Three people were killed and a fourth was last reported on life support following a single car crash on Dodds Road, east of Escalon-Bellota.
The accident occurred about 7:45 p.m. Sunday night, April 28, as a family was returning from a day at Woodward Reservoir, according to officials. Farmington Fire Department and Escalon Fire Department were both toned out to the scene, though the call turned out to be in Farmington’s jurisdiction.
According to the California Highway Patrol, a 1987 BMW driven by Robert Alejo Jr., 41, of Stockton was westbound on Dodds when the vehicle went off the road and struck a power pole, rolling over, with some of those inside ejected from the vehicle.
Authorities said the six people in the car were all injured, with two pronounced dead at the scene and a third pronounced dead at a Modesto hospital. An 11-year-old boy was reported on life support early Tuesday, with two other passengers, a 3-year-old boy and a 17-year-old boy, still hospitalized with injuries. CHP had no other update on conditions and were still investigating the cause of the crash at press time.
Along with the driver, those killed were identified as 19-year-old Jesse Romo of Stockton; pronounced at the scene with the driver; and 17-year-old Tony Martinez of Stockton, pronounced dead at Memorial Medical Center on Sunday evening.
The car sheared the power pole nearly in half, with lines coming down on the vehicle, said officials.
Along with Farmington and Escalon firefighters, there were CHP units, San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Department units, Escalon Community Ambulance, Oak Valley Hospital Ambulance and two medical helicopters on scene.
“It was one of those terrible calls,” said Farmington Fire Chief Conni Bailey, whose department was among the first to arrive. “It was on Dodds Road between Steinegul and Escalon-Bellota, on the north side of the roadway.”
Bailey said the scene was chaotic and crews did a good job containing bystanders, many of whom were family members of the victims, following roughly a half-mile behind in another vehicle and coming upon the scene of the crash.
“Everybody just worked really well together,” Bailey said, but even the best efforts of all responders could not save the driver and passengers with the most serious injuries.
Crews were on scene for about four hours for the rescue, clean up and initial investigation. The first reports from the Stockton CHP office did not indicate whether alcohol or drugs were a factor in the crash but the cause remains under investigation.