Emergency personnel were called to the scene of a two-vehicle accident Thursday evening, Aug. 8 at approximately 6:25 p.m., at the corner of Arno and Alta Mesa roads. A Galt man, later identified as Frank Gomez, was pronounced dead at the scene and three others were transported to area hospitals.
Responding to the call were Wilton Protection Fire District (WFD), Herald Protection Fire District and Cosumnes Fire Department, along with California Highway Patrol.
Upon arrival, WFD found the driver of a 2019 Chevy Malibu on the roadway, ejected from his vehicle due to the violent impact. The front seat passenger of the Chevy was still in the vehicle; however, the back seat passenger had crawled out of the car.
Traveling with two passengers, the 40-year-old Gomez was driving westbound on Arno Road. According to witness accounts, the Chevy driver failed to stop at the stop sign at Alta Mesa Road, when it was struck by a 2004 Dodge pickup traveling northbound on Alta Mesa. The pickup was being driven by a 15-year-old Wilton resident.
The Chevy driver began to negotiate a left turn to travel southbound on Alta Mesa when it was struck by the Dodge.
Witnesses said the pickup driver was traveling over 80 mph in a 55 mph zone and had just passed a slower northbound vehicle before reentering the northbound lane just before the intersection.
The right front of the Dodge struck the left front of the Chevy.
The impact sent the Chevy north and ejected the driver onto the roadway.
The Dodge was propelled northwest where it traveled into the front yard of a home on the northwest corner of the intersection after knocking out a telephone pole and hitting a large redwood tree before landing in the driveway of the residence.
Both vehicles sustained major damage.
“The impact was so great that the A post on the car (Chevy) was sheared off,” WFD Fire Chief Jeff Cookson said. “It was very fortunate that no one was in the yard at the time.”
The 15-year-old pickup driver was transported to an area hospital with moderate injuries.
Cosumnes Fire Department pronounced the Chevy driver dead at the scene. The two Chevy passengers were transported to a local hospital with major injuries.
The collision is still under investigation and it is unknown, as of press time, whether or not alcohol and/or drugs were a factor.