Reporting Sean Bennett
LODI (CBS13) – A sixth person is now dead, hours after six cars collided at a busy Lodi intersection during the evening rush hour.
Investigators are still trying to sort out what happened. The six who died, including an unborn baby, were all riding in the same car. Only a nine-year-old boy survived.
The driver of the vehicle who’s accused of causing the crash is injured at the hospital.
The accident happened at 5:21 p.m. Tuesday at Ham Lane and Vine Street close to Lodi Memorial Hospital.
Valerie Tingey lives two houses away from the intersection and says she rushed to give aid to the victims.
Tingey says she was napping when she abruptly woke up and ran out into the street.
“I saw a little boy laying on the dash…I just b-lined it to him, you know. I told him, ‘don’t move you’re going to make it worse,’” she said.
Valerie, a mother of two, then tried to help others in the vehicle.
“The truck of his bed was literally totally taken off. He was hanging out of the bed; I checked for a pulse; I didn’t have anything tall or big I could stand on to try to start CPR on him,” she said.
And it only got worse. A 12-year-old boy, a 7-year-old boy, a 5-year-old girl, a man in his 30s, a pregnant woman in her 30s and 9-year-old boy were all in the same vehicle. The only survivor was the 9 year old.
“It makes me sad that it’s happening — especially in this little town. I’m concerned and very, very sorry about this,” said Rosa Ruiz, a neighbor.
Ruiz, who brought candles to the intersection, lost a love one in a previous car accident and wanted to pay her respects.
“It’s really, really heartbreaking,” she said.
Lodi police say it could take up to a month to figure out exactly what happened and piece together the details of this complex incident.
Witnesses say a man was talking on his phone and speeding down the street before running a red light. Meanwhile, Lodi police say they are investigating this as a criminal DUI investigation.
No arrests have been made. The driver suspected of causing the crash underwent surgery Wednesday and was listed in critical condition.
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