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Big rig plows into Ceres Jack in the Box restaurant


CERES, Calif. – A Jack in the Box restaurant on East Hatch Road in Ceres incurred a significant amount of damage Wednesday morning when a semi-truck smashed through the exterior wall.

Ceres Police Spokesperson Clarissa Higginbotham said the incident happened at 7:59 a.m.

One person was injured in the incident, but it was not specified whether it was the driver of the truck or someone inside the restaurant.

Higginbotham did not indicate why the driver crashed.

The westbound lane of East Hatch was closed during the incident.


3 teens killed in fiery wreck following Modesto pursuit


A vehicle crashed after evading police Thursday night, killing three teenagers inside.

The victims were 16 years old and from Modesto.

Modesto police Sgt. David Chamberlain said the pursuit began when officers attempted to pull over a person driving erratically and the driver fled. Officers pursued the car for a short while, but discontinued the chase out of concern for public safety.

Police searched the area for the vehicle and found it on Miller Avenue where it had crashed into a tree and caught fire.

The first officer on the scene pulled a passenger out of the rear seat. Other arriving officers broke out the windows and were able to get the passenger out of the front seat. The two passengers were taken to an area hospital where they were pronounced dead.

Police seek next of kin of Ceres murder victim


Ceres police hope a public appeal will bring forward a relative of Thomas Cervantes, aka Thomas Kroger.

Cervantes' body was found in a freezer in a former auto repair shop on the 1800 block of East Whitmore Avenue in Ceres on April 14. Investigators learned the 49-year-old Cervantes recently lived in Modesto and the San Francisco area. He previously lived in Oklahoma and Texas.


MORE: Ceres landlord makes gruesome find in freezer

Jacob Medina Cervantes, 26, of Ceres, has been arrested for Cervantes' murder.

Police said they could not comment whether or not the victim and suspect were related.

Man's body found in Modesto canal


Emergency responders were on West Briggsmore Avenue Thursday afternoon investigating the discovery of a body in the canal along the road.

Modesto police spokesperson Heather Gravesisaid it appeared the body was that of an older man. She said the initial investigation did not find any trauma on the person.

Traffic was slow on Briggsmore east of McHenry Avenue where the body was found.


Man pleads not guilty in Ceres body in freezer case


CERES, Calif. (AP) - A Central Valley man has pleaded not guilty to a murder charge stemming from a body found inside a freezer at his auto body shop.

The Modesto Bee reports that 26-year-old Jacob Medina Cervantes entered the plea on Thursday. Police say they discovered the man's remains in a freezer at Cervantes' auto body shop in Ceres on Monday.

Police had gone there to assist the property owner with a civil complaint against Cervantes. Ceres is located in Stanislaus County about 100 miles east of San Francisco.

The criminal complaint against Cervantes says the man in the freezer was killed sometime between December and April 10.

Authorities have not determined his identity or released additional details about the case, including a possible motive and how the man was killed.


Highway 99 speeding crackdown begins Friday


SACRAMENTO - The California Highway Patrol announced a speeding crackdown on Highway 99 going through Sept. 30.

The targeted stretch is from Modesto, Stanislaus County to the Los Angeles County border.

A federal grant is enabling the patrols.

The CHP says from January 2012 to May 2103, there were 1,215 traffic collisions on the 300-mile stretch, including 74 fatal collisions and 519 crashes involving injuries.

Here's what officers will be looking for: speeding, unsafe passing, tailgating, improper turning, distracted driving (i.e. non-hands-free cellphone use and texting), and seat belt violations.


Ceres police officer fires gun in park; no injuries reported


A Ceres police officer fired his gun while trying to restrain a man who was yelling and swinging a golf club Thursday morning in Neel Park, police said.

The man, 29, was not struck or injured. He was later taken into custody; police have not released his name. The officer who fired his gun has been placed on leave for up to five days.

Ceres police said they received a call at about 9:15 a.m. that a man was acting strange at the park. Two officers found him yelling and swinging a golf club and tried unsuccessfully to control him. One of the officers fired his gun at least once, police said.

The incident is under investigation.