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DUI suspected in fatal crash at rural intersection

A Merced County man died in a suspected drunk driving collision Saturday night at a rural intersection on the outskirts of Turlock.

The deceased was identified as Jose M. Reyes Morales of Merced.

The California Highway Patrol suspects Morales was driving under the influence, which caused the collision.

The collision was reported at 10:10 p.m. Saturday at the intersection of E. Keyes and Mountain View roads.

Morales was driving a 2009 Toyota Camry and was stopped at a posted stop sign on southbound Mountain View Road at the intersection with E. Keyes Road.

A 1998 Toyota 4Runner, driven by Favio Valencia Jr., 27, of Patterson was headed westbound on E. Keyes Road, approaching the intersection. The traffic on E. Keyes Road does not have stop signs.

Morales drove the Camry into the intersection, just as Valencia was reaching that point, the CHP reported.

Valencia was unable to avoid the Camry and the two vehicles collided.  The 4Runner came to rest in the eastbound lane of E. Keyes Road with major front-end damage.

The impact caused significant left side damage to the Camry, which came to rest south of E. Keyes Road, just west of Mountain View Road, the CHP reported.

The damage to the Camry pinned Morales in the vehicle and he had to be extricated by emergency personnel.

Morales was taken to Memorial Medical Center and later died from the injuries he sustained.

Valencia also was taken to Memorial Medical Center, but his injuries were minor, according to the CHP.

The CHP said the collision is still under investigation, but that it appears alcohol on Morales’ part played a role in the crash.