A 73-year-old Ripon man died Friday when the vehicle he was riding in crashed into a guardrail on Highway 99, south of Merced, the California Highway Patrol reported.
The victim has been identified by the Merced County Coroner as Terry Michael Schoen.
The driver of the 2000 Dodge pickup truck, 67-year-old Gerald Young of Modesto, suffered minor injuries and was taken to Doctors Medical Center, the CHP said in a news release.
“The bed of the truck was ripped off the cab because of the impact,” Officer Jason Schoonhoven said.
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Neither drugs nor alcohol appeared to have been factors, the CHP said.
The crash was reported at 6:44 a.m. on Highway 99, south of Worden Avenue.
Young was headed south on Highway at an undetermined rate of speed when, for unknown reasons, the vehicle drifted onto the right shoulder and collided with the metal guardrail. The vehicle traveled out of control and came to a rest on the shoulder, the CHP said.
Schoen was pronounced dead at the scene, authorities said.
One southbound lane of Highway 99 was closed for several hours while road crews repaired the damaged guardrail.
The cause of the collision remains under investigation.