A Sixth Victim Pulled from the Canal

July 16, 2008 8:26:03 PM PDT
A Highway Patrol Officer who was helping with the recovery effort spotted the woman's body floating downstream in this area just after 11:00 this morning. She is one of six victims who have been found and identified following Tuesdays tragic crash.The man who was driving this septic tanker truck Tuesday morning has now been identified as 45 year old Luis Llamas Perez of Merced. The company he worked for for eight years says he was a tremendous husband, father and employee. Perez's body was pulled from the Delta Mendota Canal hours after his truck slammed into an SUV carrying six farm-workers.

Mayolo Banuelos, Highway Patrol: "We have determined that the Ford Explorer did fail to stop at the stop sign and entered the intersection in front of the septic truck's path of travel."

The families of those farm workers had to wait several more hours for their loved ones to be recovered from the water.

Marcos Martinez, Family Member: "They told us to have patience, have patience. We do have patience, but still our family is in there."

The bodies of 34 year old Eulalia Garcia, 22 year old Adan Martinez, 19 year old Elizar Cruz, and 16 year old Isaac Tapia were found inside the SUV when it was pulled from the canal late Tuesday night.

Wednesday morning a Highway Patrol Officer found the body of 18 year old Adriana Garcia about 15 miles south of the crash site. But authorities are still searching for a final male passenger.

Mayolo Banuelos: "The helicopter was out earlier this morning, our officers patrolling, so hopefully we'll find the other body."

Just about 20 minutes ago friends and family of the man who's still missing stopped by this area and asked us for more information about the recovery effort.

They say they've been driving up and down this canal looking for his body since this morning.
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