Ceres Police suspect that a three-vehicle crash on Hatch Road that took the life of a Ceres woman early Saturday was alcohol or drug related.
The crash took place at approximately 5:30 a.m. between Mitchell and Moffett roads.
The preliminary investigation revealed that a 2002 black Honda was eastbound Hatch Road behind a 2008 gray Mazda. The Honda rear-ended the Mazda, sending both into westbound lanes where the Mazda slammed into a westbound 1994 Ford Ranger pickup. All three vehicles came to rest in the westbound lanes.
The driver of the Mazda died at the scene from her injuries. She was identified as Araceli Pimentel- Valedez, 42, of Ceres. Sgt. Jason Coley said it did not appear that the driver of the Mazda was impaired.
The driver of the Honda, Jose Luis Valdez-Villasenor Jr., 24, of Ceres, sustained major injuries and is suspected of being under the influence of alcohol and or drugs.
The driver and passenger of the Ford were both transported to local hospitals for treatment for non-life threatening injuries.
It was the second fatal crash investigated by the department in six days. A motorist was killed Sunday morning, Nov. 10 in a two-vehicle crash just outside of the El Rematito Flea Market on Crows Landing Road. Driver Heliodoro Perez, 62, of Modesto, died from injuries in the crash.
The Ceres Police traffic unit was is investigating the Hatch Road collision. Anyone with information on this collision or who may have witnessed the crash or events leading up to it is urged to call Officer Ortiz at 538-5678 or Crime Stoppers.