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Highway 46 collision kills one, injures 10

A farmworker was killed and 10 others injured in a traffic collision on Highway 46 East near Shandon early Thursday morning, according to the CHP.

About 6:40 a.m., just west of McMillan Canyon Road, a Dodge van carrying 15 people slowed to make a left turn into a driveway. The driver of the car behind the van applied the brakes and moved to the right side of the highway, according to the CHP. Behind that car, Francisco Pacheco, 63, of El Centro did not see the van and rear-ended it with his tractor-trailer. The van eventually stopped on the south shoulder of the road.

Pacheco has told the CHP that he applied the brakes, but so far there is no evidence of that, the CHP said.

Pacheco was working for Agricola Los Montanos.

The van was headed to a field off the driveway, and the workers had been contracted by J. Carlos Farm Labor, based in the Fresno area.

The CHP does not believe drugs or alcohol were involved. No charges had been filed, but the investigation is continuing, the CHP said.

The driver of the tractor-trailer had no injuries, but 10 people in the van, all from Mendota, were injured.

The conditions of the vans¹ occupants varied Thursday evening.

€ A 50-year-old male died at the scene. The CHP had not notified his next-of-kin by 10 p.m., so they did not release his name.

€ Maria Llordes-Escalante, 45, the driver, had no injuries.

€ Antonio Henrigues, 23, and Jose Villanueva, 50, were taken to Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center. Henrigues was released Friday, said Ron Yukelson, Sierra Vista¹s spokesman. Villanueva was in fair condition.

€ Jose Perdomo, 38, Oscar Alfaro, 19, Edulfo Navarette, 31, Oscar Alvarado, 20, and Oscar Osmen, 20, had major injuries and were taken to Twin Cities Hospital. Alfaro was being transferred to UC Davis Medical Center on Thursday evening, said hospital spokeswoman Brenda Gray. The others were in stable condition.

€ Jose Manjivar, 41, had moderate injuries and was sent to Twin Cities Hospital. He was in stable condition Thursday evening, Gray said.

€ Nives Oranadas, 43, and Augustine Chica, 36, had minor injuries but were not taken to a hospital.

€ Wilfrado Zamora, 50, Jose Marvilla, 36, and Jose Montoya, 35, were not injured.

The accident is one of 10 this year on the highway. Since Jan. 1, Highway 46 between Paso Robles and the Kern County line has seen one fatality, two injury accidents, and seven property damage accidents, the CHP said.

Staff writers Larissa Van Beurden-Doust and Nick Wilson contributed to this report.

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