A 69-year-old Coulterville man sustained serious injuries Wednesday evening when he was ejected from his car in a Mitchell Road crash involving a Merced County Sheriff's canine vehicle.
The driver of a small compact car, Michael Dizney, sustained serious wounds to his head but was listed as being in stable condition at a local hospital after the crash.
Merced County Sheriff's Deputy Adam Deniz and his canine Tyson escaped serious injury.
The 6:54 p.m. crash was the second vehicle crash involving a sheriff's canine vehicle in Ceres in a seven-day period. On Jan. 1 Stanislaus County Sheriff canine deputy Brock Condit was involved in a head-on crash on Hatch Road west of Richland Avenue. Condit also escaped serious injury.
Wednesday's crash occurred in the 3900 block of Mitchell Road. A preliminary investigation conducted notes that Dizney was exiting the AM/PM parking lot area in his 2007 Chevy Aveo onto southbound Mitchell Road when he cut in front of the path of the northbound sheriff's patrol car in the fast lane. Deputy Deniz tried to avert the crash by making a hard turn to the left.
"It seemed like he (Dizney) was darting across the road more diagonal and when these two cars collided it was darn-near a head-on collision," said Ceres Police Sgt. Chris Perry.
The patrol car ended up disabled in the field opposite Farmer Boys restaurant some 50 yards from the road, said Perry.
Ceres Police Sgt. Chris Perry said Dizney's car apparently spun around with the driver's body bowing out the door, which contributed to his being ejected through the driver's side window. Dizney was found lying in the roadway by responding officers. Both drivers were transported to local hospitals for treatment. Dizney sustained a broken right leg and broken nose, bruises and cuts.
Deputy Deniz was released from the hospital for treatment of a sprained wrist.
A Stanislaus County Sheriff Canine Deputy arrived on the scene and took temporary custody of Tyson, a tan Belgian Malinois.
CHP arrived and assisted with traffic control. Northbound Mitchell Road was closed between Service Road and Don Pedro Road. The Ceres Police Traffic Unit was called to the scene to conduct a major injury traffic collision investigation. The Traffic Unit concluded a preliminary investigation at the scene around 10:45 p.m. at which time the roadway was re-opened.
This cause of the collision is under investigation by the Ceres Police Department Traffic Unit and Traffic Investigators are encouraging anyone with information regarding this case please contact Officer Keith Kitcher at 538-5620 or Officer Jason Coley at 538-5678.
Alcohol or drugs do not appear to be contributing factors in the crash.