James Merrifield Dies in Hilmar Car Accident on Lander Avenue near American Avenue
Hilmar, California (December 7, 2022) – 28-year-old James Merrifield was killed in a collision that happened in front of his home as he attempted to pull into his driveway in Hilmar on Monday evening.
According to the California Highway Patrol, the accident happened at around 5:40 p.m. on Lander Avenue near American Avenue.
Merrifield was driving a Honda Civic and had stopped in the northbound lane of Lander Avenue, waiting to make a turn into his driveway, when a tow truck crashed into his vehicle.
The truck driver, Francisco Padilla Jr., 32, of Turlock, was driving at 35mph at the time of the crash.
The impact of the crash pushed the Honda into the southbound lane, and it was struck by a semi-truck hauling tanks of molasses.
Merrifield, a resident of Hilmar, sustained critical injuries and was taken to Emanuel Medical Center in Turlock, where he later succumbed to his injuries.
Padilla sustained minor injuries while the semi-truck driver, Fabio Da Rocha, 34, of Denair, was uninjured.
No arrest was made.
The crash remains under investigation.