Chowchilla man dies in crash

A 28-year-old Chowchilla man died Friday in a single-vehicle crash that ended with the victim’s car in a canal just off Highway 152 in Merced County, the California Highway Patrol reported.

The victim’s identity was not released.

The CHP said the man was driving west about 11:30 a.m. on Highway 152, east of Highway 33 outside Dos Palos, at about 65 to 70 mph.

The vehicle, a 2005 Ford Taurus, drifted to the left into the dirt median, officers reported, before drifting back across both lanes of traffic. The car then went off the roadway and down a slight dirt embankment, crashing through a wire fence, according to the CHP.

The vehicle continued across a dirt road and went off the south bank of the San Juan drain canal, the CHP said in a news release. The vehicle landed upside down in water 3 to 4 feet deep, with the passenger compartment submerged, officers reported.

“Several passers-by entered the water and helped push the vehicle onto its side,” according to the CHP. Paramedics pulled the driver from the vehicle, but rescue efforts were unsuccessful and the driver was pronounced dead at the scene, the CHP said.

CHP investigators do not believe alcohol was a factor in the crash, according to the release.