A Saturday night two-vehicle crash at Claribel and Langworth roads claimed the life of an Oakdale man and resulted in the arrest of a driver on suspicion of felony driving under the influence and gross vehicle manslaughter. The crash occurred about 10:10 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 5.
According to the Stanislaus County Coroner’s Office, the victim was Francisco Diaz Lomeli, 20, of Oakdale. He was the passenger in a car driven by a 19-year woman from Riverbank, a 2019 Chevrolet that was northbound on Langworth Road. That driver stopped at the four-way stop sign and then proceeded into the intersection, the California Highway Patrol report indicated, where it was struck by a 2012 Nissan that was westbound on Claribel Road, driven by Nicolas Villela IV, 19, of Modesto. Villela, who had several passengers in his vehicle, did not stop at the stop sign and struck the right side of the Chevrolet. After the collision, both vehicles traveled in a westerly direction and collided with a power pole. Both vehicles came to rest west of the intersection on the north shoulder.
The initial impact to the right side of the Chevrolet caused fatal injuries to the passenger, Lomeli, and major injuries to the female driver, who was taken to Doctors Medical Center.
Villela was placed under arrest for gross vehicle manslaughter and felony DUI causing great bodily injury by CHP Officer J. Evans on scene.
The preliminary investigation also indicated several of the passengers in Villela’s vehicle were not restrained and he was driving at a high rate of speed.
Lomeli was declared deceased at the scene. Villela had minor injuries; three other passengers in his vehicle were taken to area hospitals. An 18-year-old male with major injuries went to Kaiser Hospital; an 18-year-old male with minor injuries was taken to Memorial Medical Center and an 18-year-old female was taken to Memorial Medical Center with moderate injuries.
All three passengers were from Modesto.
California Highway Patrol officials noted that almost 30 people in the United States die in drunk driving-related traffic collisions each day. More than 10,000 lives are lost each year to DUI crashes, according to the latest statistics available from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.