A Lodi man died in a hit-and-run collision on Interstate 5 early Sunday that closed southbound lanes for more than two hours. Authorities are searching for the unidentified driver who ran away after the crash.
Mercelino Ochoa Castellano, 68, died in the 4:38 a.m. crash on northbound I-5 near the Hood-Franklin Road exit, according to a Sacramento County coroner’s report. Two passengers in the car were taken to Kaiser Permanente South Sacramento with minor and major injuries, the California Highway Patrol said.
Castellano was the driver of a 1999 Volvo V70 in the left northbound lane. According to the CHP, a Mercedes CLK 320 came up fast behind the Volvo and began passing on the right. While changing lanes, the Mercedes collided with the Volvo, causing the Volvo to flip.
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The Volvo rolled through the median and across three lanes of southbound I-5 before coming to a rest on its roof in the southbound shoulder of I-5.
The Mercedes’ driver took the Hood-Franklin Road exit before fleeing on foot after the car became disabled.
The crash closed southbound I-5 until 7 a.m. while officers investigated and cleaned up debris.
Authorities are looking for the driver of the Mercedes, as well as its registered owner, Tenley Johnson, of San Leandro. Anyone with information should call the CHP at (916) 861-1300.