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The Madera Tribune

Pileup victim in critical condition

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webmaster | 02/01/05

The injured woman whose identity was in question after an eight-car pileup on State Route 99 last week is 24-year-old Tondi Mason of Modesto, a friend says.

Family friend Denice Bella contacted The Madera Tribune once she realized that the victim, currently in critical condition at University Medical Center in Fresno, was Bella’s daughter’s best friend.

Mason is the mother of a 3-year-old boy, Bella said.

Bella added that she believes Mason has family in Madera.

Mason was one of five people injured Jan. 27 when a man authorities believe to have been drunk drove north in the southbound lanes of 99, causing a chain reaction that crashed eight vehicles, two of which were big rigs.

A Madera man, 20-year-old Joseph Paul Rodriguez, was killed when the driver of a Ford Explorer, a Santa Maria resident, allegedly struck him head-on.

The Santa Maria man suffered major injuries. According to highway patrol officers, he was arrested regardless of the fact he remains in serious condition.

The crash occurred shortly after 1 a.m. State Route 99 was closed between Avenues 18 1/2 and 17 until shortly after 11 a.m., 10 hours after the incident was reported to the highway patrol.

The collision is still under investigation by the department’s Major Accident Investigation Team.


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