News

6th body pulled from Calif. canal after crash

A sixth body was pulled from a rural, central California canal Wednesday after a collision between a septic truck and a sport utility vehicle carrying farm workers from a peach orchard. A seventh victim remained missing and is presumed dead.

The latest victim was found in the swift, brackish waters of the canal about 10 miles from the wreck in Westley, sheriff's deputies said. The victim was identified as Adrianna Garcia, 17, from Lodi.

The California Highway Patrol said the SUV ran a stop sign and was broadsided by the truck. Witnesses told the authorities they didn't see anyone escape from the submerged vehicles.

Family members and witnesses said the SUV was taking six laborers from the orchard back home to Lodi, California Highway Patrol Officer Mayolo Banuelos said. Initial reports suggested that two people had been in the truck, but investigators now believe there was only one, the driver. His body has been recovered.

Driver Luis Perez, 45, had been cleaning out portable toilets in a nearby orchard before the crash, said Paige Dawson, a spokeswoman for United Site Services Inc., which owns the septic truck.

Araceli Martinez, who lost two relatives in the wreck, said both had recently traveled to California from the Mexican state of Guerrero to support their families.

  Comments