For The Madera Tribune
Two Madera County men were killed by errant driving at year’s end.
The first, a Chowchilla man, was struck and killed on the shoulder of Road 20, north of Avenue 22, as he checked on his cattle in a pasture the evening of Dec. 29, according to The California Highway Patrol.
Crisanto Flores Ramos, 84, a long time rancher in the area, had apparently just closed the pasture gate and was approximately four feet from the Road 20 pavement about 5:15 p.m. when a northbound car driven by 20-year-old Valeria Santana of Fairmead went off the roadway and struck the victim as he turned around. The impact threw Ramos up, and onto the hood of the car. He was pronounced dead at the scene. Conditions at time of the crash were clear, dry and dark. Ramos’ pickup truck was found parked nearby.
Santana stopped and called 911, but was arrested on charges of vehicular manslaughter. Distracted driving is being investigated as a possible factor in the incident. Alcohol or drugs were not thought to be a factor. Santana was not injured in the incident.
A high speed single-vehicle collision on Dec. 30 took the life of a 29 year-old Madera man, according to the CHP. Samuel Timothy Barnes was northbound on Road 38, just south of Avenue 12 at about 9:10 pm, when he lost control and went off the roadway and slammed into a large pistachio tree. The force of the crash spun the 2017 Kia forward into several other trees, killing Barnes on impact, and smashing the car into several pieces.
Emergency crews said the car may have been going close to 100 mph, given the degree of damage involved.
Toxicology reports are pending.
Conditions at time of the crash were clear, dry and dark.