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Teenager facing charges for collision that claimed life of Turlock High coach
John Williams
Johnathan Williams, a longtime coach at Turlock High School, died following a three-vehicle collision on Dec. 29 while on his way to a girls basketball tournament at Pitman High School (KATIE DAY/The Journal).

A 17-year-old Turlock boy was booked into Stanislaus County Juvenile Hall for vehicular manslaughter in the death of Turlock High School basketball coach Johnathan Williams, the Turlock Police Department announced Friday night.

Williams was killed in a three-vehicle collision that happened on Dec. 29 in the area of West Christoffersen Parkway and North Kilroy Road, near Pitman High School. Williams was a passenger in a 2018 Dodge Journey driven by his 19-year-old son.

Williams’ 19-year-old son was turning left to eventually enter into the Pitman High parking lot when the vehicle was struck by a 2016 Toyota Camry driven by the 17-year-old boy. The impact sent the Toyota into a Cadillac Escalade that was stopped at the intersection.

In total, eight people were taken to the hospital following the collision. Williams was the only fatality.

The 17-year-old boy was taken into custody on Thursday and booked on suspicion of vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence, failure to obey restricted driver’s license provisions, unsafe speed, and reckless driving resulting in bodily injury.

“The Turlock Police Department extends their support and deepest condolences to Coach Williams’ family, friends, and students,” the department stated in a Facebook post. “We would like to remind the community the importance of following all traffic laws and how dangerous speeding can be.”

Williams, also known as “Big John,” is survived by his wife and five children. He was a longtime assistant for Turlock’s boys varsity basketball team alongside Doug Cornfoot. In 2019, he took the helm as the Bulldogs’ varsity girls head coach. He served in the position until midway through the 2020-21 season. Since then, he has served as an assistant for both Cornfoot and current girls head coach Erica Hernandez.

— Reporter Christopher Correa contributed to this article.