Turlock City News

Turlock City News

Suspected Reckless Driver Dies After Being Ejected From Vehicle


At about 9:37am Tuesday, the California Highway Patrol, Turlock Police, Turlock Fire, and American Medical Response responded to a traffic collision with injuries southbound State Route 99 just north of Lander Avenue.

When units arrived on scene, they found two vehicles involved. One was a 2010 Mazda, while the other was a 2022 Ford. The Mazda had overturned and come to final rest on its roof.

Both vehicles were only occupied by their drivers. The driver of the Mazda was identified as Christian Rivera, 26, of Turlock, while the driver of the Ford was identified as Gokce Ozkazancguc, 28, of San Jose.

Rivera was found ejected lying next to his vehicle with major injuries. He was transported by AMR to Doctors Medical Center where he succumbed to his injuries. Ozkazancguc wasn’t injured.

The CHP’s preliminary investigation indicates that Rivera had been traveling southbound approaching Lander at a high rate of speed in the left lane, while Ozkazancguc had been doing the same in front of him at a normal rate of speed. Rivera attempted to pass Ozkazancguc on the left, entering the center median. The front of Rivera’s vehicle then struck the left rear of Ozkazancguc’s vehicle, causing Rivera’s vehicle to proceed in a southwesterly direction, crossing all lanes of traffic. Rivera’s vehicle then entered the west shoulder where it overturned several times. Rivera wasn’t wearing his seatbelt and was ejected from his vehicle as a result.

It’s currently unknown if alcohol or drugs were a factor in this collision.

“Seatbelts, when when properly, have the ability to save your life when involved in a traffic collision,” said Officer Olsen. “Further, driving a vehicle in a reckless manner endangers not only your life, but the lives of others. Drive to arrive.”

The investigation remains ongoing. Anyone with information that could assist is encouraged to call Officer Matthew Fowles at 209-545-7440.

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