Triple-fatal truck accident: Three people were killed Monday when a big-rig rear-ended their car on Highway 99 in Ceres, about 5 miles south of Modesto.
• Six men were in a disabled car on Highway 99 when they were struck from behind by a big-rig.
• Three of the men in the back seat of the car were killed immediately.
• The other three men in the car were hospitalized with serious injuries.
• The truck driver was not hurt.
California Highway Patrol officer Chuck Leon said a southbound Cadillac with six people inside was either traveling very slowly or stopped in the slow lane of Highway 99, possibly due to a flat tire, when the accident occurred.
A big-rig driven by 43-year-old Varinder Badial of Yuba City was traveling southbound at about 57 mph when it hit the Cadillac from behind.
The impact crushed the rear of the Cadillac, killing three men in the back seat. The men were identified as Jose Jaime Botello-Herrera, Erasmo Tello Jaimes, and a third man whose name was withheld pending notification of his next of kin. The Bee reported that Botello-Herrera and the unidentified man were in their 20s, while Jaimes was in his early 50s.
A fourth man who was riding in the back seat, 18-year-old Bryan Aranda, survived but suffered serious head injuries. The driver of the car, 53-year-old Rogelio Reyes Leon, suffered major injuries, and the front seat passenger, 26-year-old Antonio Lopez, suffered moderate injuries. All three of the men were hospitalized.
All of the men in the car were migrant workers who were traveling to a local farm to install sprinklers, according to the Bee report.
The truck driver was not injured.
Leon said the CHP does not suspect that drugs, alcohol, or texting were involved in the accident.