James Merrifield, 28, Victim in Hilmar Fatal Crash on Lander Avenue
HILMAR, CA (December 6, 2022) – James Merrifield was killed after a car crash on Lander Avenue in Hilmar.
The coroner’s office identified the 28-year-old Hilmar man as the victim of the fatal wreck which took place on Monday.
The incident happened when James Merrifield was driving a Honda Civic north on Lander Avenue in Hilmar. He then came to a stop to make a left turn into his driveway,
As he waited for traffic in the southbound lane to pass, a tow truck approached at about 35 mph. The driver of the tow-truck, 32-year-old Francisco Padilla Jr, failed to notice the stopped Honda.
In the process, the Turlock man slammed into the rear of the Civic. The California Highway Patrol said the impact of the collision forced the Honda into the southbound lane.
Francisco Padilla Jr, 32, Injured in Wreck
A big rig hauling tanks of molasses traveling in the area then struck the car on its passenger side. The tow truck continued north and hit the tank trailer, north of American Avenue.
The Merced Sun Star and Turlock Journal wrote that the accident occurred on December 5 at around 5:40 p.m. James Merrifield sustained serious injuries as a result of the crash.
Paramedics rushed him to the Emanuel Medical Center, where he soon died. Meanwhile, CHP added that Francisco Padilla survived the incident with minor injuries and declined treatment.
Molasses spilled onto the roadway following the wreck. The operator of the semi-truck, 34-year-old Denair resident Fabio Da Rocha, ended up unharmed.
Officers forced the northbound side of Lander Avenue to shut down for a time after the wreck. The cause of the Hilmar crash is still under investigation.
“Johnson Attorneys Group does not represent any of the parties mentioned above; nor is it our intent to represent any of the parties. If you would like to contribute to this story, please contact us.”
Sources: The Merced Sun Star and Turlock Journal
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