Fatality on I-5 near Westley

By Cee Cee Howell

Patterson Irrigator

At approximately 9:43 p.m. on October 23, the California Highway Patrol (CHP) received a call of a traffic collision on southbound I-5, north of Howard Road.

Emergency personnel arrived on scene and located two vehicles with major collision damage. The driver of a Jeep, identified as a resident of Gilroy, was located on the west shoulder near their vehicle having succumbed to their injuries.

Martin Barajas Jr., of Sacramento, was identified as the driver of the second vehicle involved in the collision. He was transported by air ambulance to Memorial Medical Center with major injuries.

The preliminary investigation indicates the driver of the Jeep was traveling in the southbound number two lane (slow lane) approaching Howard Road. Barrajas, also traveling in the southbound number two lane, allowed the right front of his vehicle to strike the left rear of the Jeep.

The collision caused the Jeep to overturn on the west shoulder, ejecting the driver.

Barajas lost control of his vehicle as it entered the center median, overturning multiple times before colliding with the cable barrier and coming to rest in the northbound median.

Drugs and/or alcohol do not appear to have contributed to this collision. Barajas was wearing his seatbelt at the time of the collision. It is still under investigation if the driver of the Jeep was properly restrained at the time of the collision.

Speed does appear to have contributed to this collision.

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