Merced man dies in Bear Creek car crash

A 36-year-old Merced man died early Saturday after his vehicle crashed into Bear Creek, the Merced Police Department reported.

Daniel Rubalcava was pronounced dead at Mercy Medical Center.

Police said alcohol may have played a role in the crash. Sgt. Jay Struble said medical personnel believe the driver had the odor of an alcoholic beverage on his breath.

Investigators believe speed played a role as well.

“At the time of the accident, the roads were wet and there was a light rain,” police said in a news release.

The exact cause of the crash remains under investigation.

Rubalcava was heading east about 4:49 a.m. in the 1200 block of West North Bear Creek Drive in a 2004 GMC Sierra 1500 pickup truck. The vehicle left the road and landed on its roof in the creek bed, police said.

Two people on bicycles witnessed the crash and called police, Struble said.

Officers said they found Rubalcava unresponsive in the overturned truck’s cab.

Investigators believe Rubalcava may have been driving home from work at the time of the crash.

Anyone with information about the accident is asked to contact Struble at (209) 385-4739 or the law enforcement tip line at (209) 385-4725.