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UPDATE: Patricia Lopez, 60, Clara Howells, 1, Angeles Escoto, 19, of Merced, Francis Catano, 23, ID’ed as Victims of Fatal McHenry Ave Crash in Del Rio

Del Rio, CA — Tragedy struck in Stanislaus County as a fatal crash claimed the lives of four on the afternoon of Tuesday, April 9, 2024, according to KCRA. The incident unfolded around 4 PM on McHenry Avenue, just north of Hogue Road near Escalon, and involved four vehicles.

Reports from officials indicate that a 19-year-old woman was driving a Mitsubishi sedan with a 22-year-old male passenger when their vehicle crossed into the southbound lane, colliding head-on with a Toyota SUV driven by a 60-year-old woman.

Tragically, the occupants of the Mitsubishi, as well as a one-year-old child and the 60-year-old woman in the Toyota, succumbed to their injuries after being transported to local hospitals.

The victims were identified by the Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Office as:

  • 60-year-old Patricia Lopez of Turlock
  • 20-month-old Clara Howells of Turlock
  • 19-year-old Angeles Escoto of Merced
  • 23-year-old Francis Catano of Merced


The heart-wrenching loss has deeply affected the families involved. Lopez had been en route to drop off Clara after babysitting when the tragic collision occurred.

Crystal Marshall, Lopez’s eldest daughter, expressed profound grief, urging everyone to cherish their loved ones. Marshall reflected on Lopez’s role as a loving grandmother to her children, emphasizing the immense void her passing leaves behind.

Following the initial crash, a Ford pickup and a Ram van also collided with the Mitsubishi, although, thankfully, neither of those drivers sustained injuries.

While investigations continue, authorities have not confirmed whether drugs or alcohol played a role in the devastating crash.

Wrongful Death Claims

The loss of loved ones, especially the loss of a child, to such tragic circumstances can be absolutely devastating to those they leave behind. While families cope with the shock and heartbreak, their deaths can also carry a significant financial burden, adding insult to the injury of grief.

Many turn to public fundraising sites in order to cover such expenses as medical bills and burial expenses, but in the cases where even some portion of the liability can be attributed to an outside party, a skilled personal injury attorney can help a family find additional funds by making a Wrongful Death Claim with the insurance provider of those responsible.

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