Search called off in Canal Accident

July 16, 2008 12:00:00 AM PDT
A Merced man is among the seven people now believed to be dead in a rural north Valley canal accident. The accident happened southwest of Modesto near the town of Westley. The Stanislaus County Coroner's Office said 45-year-old Merced resident Luis Perez is among those who died.

Authorities have called off the search for two victims still missing after two vehicles plunged into an irrigation canal.

The Highway Patrol says the S.U.V. was carrying farm workers who were traveling home to Lodi after working in an orchard south of Wesley. Officers believe the driver ran a stop sign and crashed into the truck.

Divers have recovered 4 bodies from the S.U.V. and one inside the truck. Witnesses told authorities they thought six people were inside the S.U.V. at the time of the crash, but officers found only four victims.


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