July 10, 2017: The deadly crash occurred about 6 p.m. Saturday, July 8th, 2017, on Highway 108 at the intersection of Mesa Drive, less than a mile northeast of Riverbank. Rodriguez-De La Cruz was driving a 1999 Dodge Intrepid east on the Highway approaching Mesa. Rodriguez-De La Cruz was wearing a seat belt, but he suffered fatal injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene.
The CHP said the vehicle, for unknown reasons, veered out of control in a southeasterly direction toward the corner of this intersection. The car’s driver’s side struck a stop sign, a utility pole guide wire, and a tree. The car came to rest facing west on the side of the street. Alcohol is the suspected cause of the deadly crash near Riverbank.
Rodriguez-De La Cruz died, but passers-by rescued a 9-year-old passenger from the fiery crash. The boy was helped by witnesses out of the vehicle. Until he could be taken to Oak Valley Hospital in Oakdale the boy remained at the crash scene with Stanislaus County Sheriff’s deputies.