Three Patterson residents were killed and two more were injured in a two-vehicle collision at the intersection of Orange and Elm Avenues on March 6.

Maria Cruz Alvarez, 58, Armando Vega, 56, and Jesus Vega-Cruz, 26, were travelling south on Elm Avenue when their Dodge SUV collided with a Dodge Ram. All three victims succumbed to their injuries at the scene.

The investigation to determine the cause of the collision is ongoing, however, preliminary evidence suggests the driver of the Ram, 20-year-old Mario Estrada of Crows Landing, failed to yield the right of way at the controlled intersection.

Both vehicles appeared to have overturned multiple times before coming to rest on their left sides in a field on the southeast corner of the intersection. Residents in the area were without power for several hours, a result of the collision.

Estrada and his passenger, 20-year-old Amy Gaspar of Ceres, were transported to Doctor’s Medical Center by ground ambulance.

It is unknown at this time if drugs or alcohol contributed to the collision, and according to the report released by California Highway Patrol, occupant restraints will be inspected to determine if they were in use when the collision occurred.

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