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Xavier Duarte, 27, Killed in Hwy 132, La Grange Dam Rd Crash Near Modesto

Stanislaus County, CA – A solo-vehicle crash east of Modesto near Highway 132 and La Grange Dam Road resulted in the death of Xavier Duarte, a 27-year-old resident of La Grange, according to the Modesto Bee. The Stanislaus County Coroner’s Office officially identified Duarte as the victim of the crash, which occurred in the early hours of Saturday, March 30, 2024.

According to preliminary information from the California Highway Patrol (CHP), a 2019 Ram pickup truck was traveling eastbound on Highway 132, nearing the intersection with La Grange Dam Road. At that point, Duarte entered the westbound lane, eventually colliding with the metal guardrail. The impact of the crash caused the pickup to veer off the road, tumbling down an embankment and into Goodwin Creek.

Responders were alerted to the incident at 11:10 AM on Saturday, but the submerged vehicle made it challenging to assess if anyone was inside. Due to the steep embankments surrounding the creek, the retrieval of the pickup proved difficult. The Stanislaus County sheriff’s dive team was called in, and the pickup was finally recovered from the water by 4:45 PM, confirming the presence of a male body inside.

The crash caused significant damage to the guardrail, extending more than 20 feet. Consequently, the bridge over Goodwin Creek had to be closed to traffic as authorities conducted their investigations. The exact time of the crash remains unknown, and efforts to pinpoint it may require one or two additional days.

Liability in Solo-Vehicle Collisions

Those who might find themselves in an accident like the one described above should be aware that some portion of liability for a solo-vehicle crash may be found to belong to circumstances outside the driver’s control such as irresponsible driving by other vehicles in the area or even unsafe roadway conditions for which local government bears responsibility. Those responsible for these outside factors may owe compensation to anyone injured in such a crash.

Wrongful Death Claims

Establishing fault in a collision can depend on multiple factors. Helping to determine legal liability is one of the ways that a personal injury attorney can help grieving families recovering from the loss of a loved one in a traffic accident.

If it is determined that another driver holds responsibility for their loved one’s death, they may be eligible to file a wrongful death claim with the insurance provider of the at-fault driver. A wrongful death claim can provide compensation to help cover hospital fees, burial costs, and the loss of support for dependents of the deceased.

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