A 68-year-old man was driving a 2002 Toyota 4Runner east on Highway 4 at around 9:50 a.m. when his vehicle “for no apparent reason” went off the right side of the road, according to Adam Shelton, spokesman for the California Highway Patrol Tracy office.
The vehicle reportedly went down an embankment and came to rest on its roof in the middle of the canal, Shelton said. The canal water was about three feet deep, and was described by CHP officers at the scene as “mucky and muddy waters,” Shelton said.
It took about an hour for rescue crews to remove the man and his passenger — a 56-year-old woman — from the vehicle, according to Shelton.
Both were pronounced dead at the scene, Shelton said. He was uncertain about the pair’s relationship. They were both wearing a seatbelt.
“A witness who was following behind them said the vehicle just went right off the road without warning,” Shelton said.
The crash occurred about 15 miles north of Tracy between Old River Bridge and Middle River Bridge.
The vehicle was believed to be driving 55 to 60 mph when it veered off the road, and drugs or alcohol were not factors in the crash, according to Shelton. No other vehicles were involved, and no other passengers were inside of the 4Runner.
Officer James Claire led the investigation, which is now closed, Shelton said.
The victims’ names were not released because family members were still being notified as of 12:40 p.m.
Somerset is about 50 miles east of Sacramento, and about 10 miles south of Placerville.
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