Merced County, CA – The Merced County Sheriff Coroner’s Office has officially identified the deceased in a head-on collision that occurred in December 2023 as 20-year-old Joseph Gonzalez from Fresno, according to The Merced Sun-Star.
California Highway Patrol officers responded to a report of the collision at approximately 10:47 AM on December 26, 2023, in the vicinity of Highway 59 and Rahilly Road.
Gonzalez was traveling southbound on Highway 59, just south of McNamara Road, in a 2019 Jeep SUV, when he suddenly veered left for reasons yet unknown. He entered the path of a 2020 Freightliner box truck heading northbound at around 50 mph. The head-on collision proved fatal for Gonzalez, who succumbed to his injuries at the scene.
The driver of the box truck, a 54-year-old man from Fresno, emerged from the collision without injury. He cooperated fully with the investigating officers in their ongoing investigation.
Determining liability in an automobile accident can hinge upon various factors depending upon the results of law enforcement investigations. Should another driver prove to be at fault, family members of the deceased may be eligible to file a wrongful death claim to help cover the cost of hospital bills, burial costs, and in some cases the loss of potential earnings for dependents of the deceased.