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Highway fatality an apparent suicide

POSTED December 18, 2009 10:45 p.m.
A Modesto man was killed on Highway 99 near a Turlock rest stop Thursday morning in what the Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department deemed an apparent suicide.
The deceased was identified Friday as 29-year-old James Mendoza by the Stanislaus County Coroner’s Office.
Around 1 a.m. Thursday the California Highway Patrol received a call of a pedestrian in a southbound lane of Highway 99 around the rest stop area near the Bradbury Avenue exit. The caller said the man was just standing in the lane with his arms raised over his head.
Moments later, the CHP received a second call, this time from a truck driver stating he had just hit a man who stepped in front of his oncoming truck.
The southbound lanes were temporarily closed during the resulting investigation.
The same stretch of freeway was the site of an April 2008 suicide when a woman jumped off an overpass.
To contact Sabra Stafford, e-mail or call 634-9141 ext. 2002.
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