Two women die in crashes over weekend

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By JASON ECK

A Sonora woman and a Stockton woman died in separate car crashes over the weekend near the same west Tuolumne County intersection.

In a crash Sunday afternoon at Highway 108 and O'Byrnes Ferry Road, a passenger on a three-wheel motorcycle, Carmelita Beck, 40, of Stockton, died.

A California Highway Patrol report states that Susan Duck, 57, of Tuolumne, was driving a pickup south on O'Byrnes Ferry Road at 55 mph in heavy traffic. James Ball, 61, of Stockton, was driving the motorcycle Beck was riding on west on Highway 108. Duck stopped at the stop sign on O'Byrnes Ferry Road and prepared to turn left onto eastbound Highway 108. The report said Duck failed to see Ball approaching and started to turn across the westbound lane of Highway 108.

Ball swerved to the left in an attempt to avoid Duck's pickup, but the right side of Ball's motorcycle collided with the right front of Duck's pickup. The crash occurred at 2:35 p.m.

The collision forced Ball's motorcycle into the eastbound lane. Both Ball and Beck were thrown to the pavement.

A third driver, Robbie Bayers, 20, of Jamestown, was driving a pickup truck east on Highway 108. He witnessed the collision and Ball and Beck land in the lane in front of him. Bayer braked and swerved to the right and was unable to avoid hitting Beck and the motorcycle, the report said.

Beck suffered fatal injuries. Ball suffered a broken right leg and was taken to Tuolumne General Hospital, where he was treated and released.

Bayers, Duck, and a passenger in her pickup, Alicison Wilson, 13, of Tuolumne, were uninjured.

On Saturday, a Sonora woman died and three other people, including an infant, were hurt in a 7:40 a.m. two-vehicle crash on Highway 108 west of O'Byrnes Ferry Road.

Deanna Childers, 38, of Sonora, died in the crash.

A Highway Patrol report states that Childers was driving a car west on Highway 108 west of O'Byrnes Ferry Road at 55 to 60 mph in a 65-mph zone. At the same time, Gail Hystad, 53, of Coulterville, was driving a small sport utility vehicle east on the highway at 55 to 60 mph approaching Childers' car.

After rounding the curve west of O'Byrnes Ferry Road, Childers began passing a slow-moving vehicle ahead of her. When she pulled into the eastbound lane she did not see Hystad approaching from the opposite direction and the two vehicles collided head-on.

Childers suffered fatal injuries.

11501668
The Union Democrat
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