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9 Transported following two car collision

By BY ERIN PRADIA - EPRADIA@VICAD.COM
Sept. 6, 2011 at 4:06 a.m.
Updated Sept. 7, 2011 at 4:07 a.m.

Nine people were transported to Citizens Medical Center following a wreck on U.S. Highway 59 South and Zac Lentz Parkway on Tuesday.

A white Dodge Durango, carrying five people heading north on U.S. Highway 59 South, collided with a white Ford Taurus with four people heading south on U.S. Highway 59 South at about 7:10 p.m., said Department of Public Safety Tropper Louie Verdeja.

The Durango, driven by Juan Mendoza, 36, of Houston, t-boned the Taurus, driven by Loretta Garcia, 31, of Victoria. Mendoza was attempting to make a left hand turn to go north on Zac Lentz Parkway, Verdeja said.

Semi-truck driver Paul Croft witnessed the accident and, along with three other semi-truck drivers, helped pull passengers from the vehicles.

All nine people involved in the wreck were transported to the hospital, Verdeja said.

Verdeja said emergency personnel had to cut off the door on the driver side of the Taurus to free Garcia.

The driver and two passengers from the Taurus were transported to Citizens Medical Center. The fourth person in the Taurus, Noah Saldaña, 2, was uninjured.

Barbara Booth, 65, the front seat passenger from the Taurus, was fading in and out of consciousness when Verdeja arrived on scene. Verdeja said Booth was transported to the trauma unit, having lost a lot of blood from a gash in her leg.

Melinda Mendoza, 33, the front passenger in the Durango, was transported to DeTar Navarro for injuries.

The condition of the patients was unknown at 10 p.m. Tuesday.

Mendoza will be cited with failure to yield the right of way.

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