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Hit-and-Run Accident on Highway 99: Victim Identified

Fresno County, California – The victim of a tragic hit-and-run accident on Highway 99 has been identified as 77-year-old John Ortiz from Selma.

The incident occurred around 3 pm on Monday, December 11, 2023, as Ortiz’s wife was driving their truck southbound. According to the California Highway Patrol, it is suspected that a driver in a Chrysler 200 sedan either swerved or attempted to change lanes, colliding with Ortiz’s truck.

As a result of the impact, the truck lost control and veered into the center divider. Two individuals were injured and promptly transported to a local hospital, where they are currently receiving treatment.

In a regrettable turn of events, the driver of the Chrysler 200 chose to flee the scene. The California Highway Patrol has announced that the driver will face charges for the hit-and-run, considered a serious offense.

John Ortiz, who was in the passenger seat of the truck, tragically passed away at the Community Regional Medical Center (CRMC) due to severe injuries sustained in the accident.

In an emotional statement, one of Ortiz’s grandchildren said, “My grandfather was a good man with a kind heart. Our family has lost its pillar, and we are all devastated by his loss.”

John, who had recently overcome cancer and was returning home after his last chemotherapy session, would have celebrated his 78th birthday this upcoming Christmas.

The California Highway Patrol urges anyone with relevant information about the incident to contact (559) 705-2200. Additionally, Officer Mike Salas urges the responsible driver to surrender, provide information, and help bring the necessary closure to the affected family.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of John Ortiz.

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