88-year-old Planada woman dies in crash

An 88-year-old Planada woman died Monday in a two-car collision just outside Merced, the California Highway Patrol reported.

The woman’s name was not released pending notification of her family.

The victim was a passenger in a blue 2004 Honda Odyssey van, driven by Yolanda Devine, 67, of Merced.

They were headed north on Arboleda Drive about 11 a.m. and turned left onto Olive Avenue, Officer Jason Schoonhoven said.

“(Devine) turned directly in front of the path of the oncoming vehicle,” Schoonhoven said.

A 1996 Lexus ES 300 crashed into the front passenger side of the vehicle and continued moving out of control before crashing into a nearby barbed-wire fence, the CHP said.

The driver of the Lexus, 20-year-old Samantha Aleman, and Devine both suffered unspecified “moderate” injuries. They were taken to a Merced hospital for treatment, the CHP said.

The 88-year-old woman was flown to a Modesto hospital where she was later pronounced dead, the CHP said.

Neither drugs nor alcohol is suspected to have been involved in the collision, Schoonhoven confirmed.

Both vehicles sustained major damage in the wreck.