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Gustine police said a tanker truck collided with a power pole in Gustine last Wednesday afternoon, Sept. 2, setting in motion a chain of events which led to the tractor being destroyed by flames. 

Gustine police officer Kevin Roseen said the accident occurred shortly after 5 p.m. when the truck driver, identified as 62-year-old Enrique O. Ramirez (no address listed), struck a power pole when attempting to turn right from Highway 140 onto northbound Highway 33.

Roseen said that when the driver then backed up the big rig, power lines fell and began arcing, catching the cab on fire. He said Ramirez was able to escape without injury. 

The incident turned into a hazmat response due to oil and fuel leaking into a nearby irrigation ditch, Roseen said, and crews did not clear the scene until after midnight. He said the tanker was carrying water. 

Pedestrian killed in I-5 accident

A 76-year-old pedestrian was struck and killed by a big rig on Interstate 5 Tuesday morning, Sept. 8, the California Highway Patrol reported.

The CHP said the accident victim, a Stockton man whose name was not released pending notification of next of kin, was on southbound Interstate 5 south of Cottonwood Road in the right-hand lane next to his 1998 Chevrolet Malibu. According to the CHP, the man for unknown reasons was standing in the right-hand lane and crossed directly in front of a southbound Freightliner as the big rig driver attempted unsuccessfully to avoid striking the pedestrian.

The victim was pronounced dead at the scene.

The CHP said the Freightliner was driven by Amandeep Singh, 23, of Manteca. 

The accident occurred at 5 a.m.

Gustine council okays Halloween event

Halloween festivities will be held in Gustine once again this year - but with a few new twists due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The City Council last week gave its approval to the fifth annual trunk-or-treat Halloween event, which is organized by the city’s police and recreation departments.

This year, however, the festivities will have a drive-through format due to the pandemic.

Hours are 6:30-8:30 p.m.

In addition to collecting treats as they pass by, participants will have the option of taking a “haunted detour” at the end of the trunk-or-treat route.

Donations are being accepted to help support the event. Call Tiffany Vitorino, 854-6471, for additional information.

City applying for vehicle grant

The Gustine Police Department is applying for grant funds to cover most costs involved with the purchase of three 2021 Toyota Corolla hybrid vehicles.

The City Council approved the grant application last week.

Grant funding through the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District will provide $20,000 toward the purchase of each vehicle. If the funding, which is available on a first-come, first-served basis, is approved the city will pay the additional $4,139 per vehicle.

Police Chief Ruben Chavez said the vehicles would be pool cars available for use by department personnel attending training, making court appearances, transporting evidence and other administrative or clerical purposes.

Chavez said the vehicles could also be used for covert operations such as enforcement of fireworks laws.

West Side weather

A weekend heat wave pushed temperatures well into triple digits, reported Marge Carvalho of Newman, an observer for the National Weather Service. Carvalho reported the following high/low temperatures for the week.

Monday, Aug. 31: 96/60

Tuesday, Sept. 1: 96/60

Wednesday, Sept. 2: 94/60

Thursday, Sept. 3: 97/58

Friday, Sept. 4: 100/61

Saturday, Sept. 5: 106/61

Sunday, Sept. 6: 110/61