MERCED COUNTY (KFSN) --Four family members are dead after their truck crashed into a canal. That accident happened near Winton in Merced County. Action News learned two of the victims were children.
Investigators believe the truck crashed into the canal and flipped over in the water between 8:00 and 9:30 Sunday night. But no one spotted the pickup until this morning.
The scene was heartbreaking when four family members were found dead in a Gmc Sierra. California Highway Patrol officers said they got a call just after 8:00 Monday morning after someone driving in the area noticed tire tracks leading into the canal. "The caller went and investigated and observed the vehicle overturned," said Officer Moises Onsurez, California Highway Patrol.
First responders arrived and had the pickup pulled out of the water. That's when they found the bodies of a 33-year-old man from Snelling, a 31-year-old woman, a 9-year-old girl, and a 6-year-old boy. Investigators said it appears the accident actually happened Sunday night because of what they learned after speaking with a witness, Cesar Bautista, who lives just across the street.
Bautista said he heard tires screeching, but when he came outside he did not see any cars or anything else unusual. Now, he's devastated knowing a family died together on Valentine's Day so close to his home.
The cause of the crash is still under investigation, but Bautista told officers it was clear at the time of the crash, so fog does not appear to be a factor.
The coroner's office has not yet released the names of the victims.