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Pastor of Exeter Seventh-Day Adventist Church is transported to Kaweah Delta after trying to pass and colliding with a Freightliner truck

Pastor of Exeter Seventh-Day Adventist Church is transported to Kaweah Delta after trying to pass and colliding with a Freightliner truck


EXETER – A man who prays for others for a living is now in need of prayers from others. On June 12, Exeter Seventh-Day Adventist Church pastor Justin Torossian was attempting to pass a slower car in his 2000 Toyota when he was met head on by a 2016 Freightliner with an attached semi-trailer.

According to California Highway Patrol (CHP), Torossian was driving northbound on Road 204, south of Avenue 264 – near Waterman Industries – when he crossed over the painted, solid double yellow lines to pass a slower moving vehicle that was making a right turn onto eastbound Avenue 264.

At about 2:25 p.m., Torossian crossed into the southbound traffic lane of Road 204 wher he was struck by the Freightliner. The impact caused Torossian’s car to travel backward and stop facing westbound on the southeast corner of the intersection. 

The Freightliner traveled to the right and left the roadway on the west side of Road 204, just south of the intersection. Torossian suffered major injuries and the driver of the Freightliner, 36-year-old Michale Ray Jones, had minor injuries. Both drivers were transported to Kaweah Delta Medical Center via ambulance for medical evaluation and treatment. No arrests were made and alcohol and/or drugs are not considered factors in this collision.

In other news

A Visalia man was arrested for driving under the influence after driving through a wooden power pole before crashing into a metal light pole west of Highway 99 on June 14. 

According to the CHP, Martin G. Hernandez, 26, of Visalia was driving a 2003 Acura northbound on Road 68 at a high rate of speed. At 7:22 p.m., Hernandez allowed the car to drift in a westerly direction and into a wooden power pole at Avenue 280. The Acura broke through the pole and continued in a northwesterly direction where it collided with a metal light pole. 

Hernandez came to rest on the southwesterly portion of the intersection. The impact jarred high voltage electric lines loose and down close to the top of the car where they bagan to arc.
When Hernandez regained consciousness, he was able to climb out of the vehicle without getting electrocuted. He was transported by ambulance to Kaweah Delta Medical Center for minor injuries. Alcohol does appear to be a factor in this collision.

Two Woodlake men are lucky to be alive after their caught on fire following a crash into a concrete irrigation gate near Seville on Friday, June 15. 

According to a CHP report, Jose Antonio Cortez, 40, was driving eastbound on Highway 201 at about 4 p.m. when he fell asleep and allowed his 2012 Chevrolet to drift off the road and onto the dirt shoulder east of Road 156. The car continued in a northeasterly direction along the edge of a field before colliding with a concrete/metal irrigation gate on the east side of a canal. 

Cortez was able to get out of the car and walk up the canal embankment toward the road. Officer E. N. Flynn, who was out on another call nearby saw the accident from the roadway. Flynn immediately drove to the collision scene and checked on the occupants. 

The Chevrolet caught fire for a short period of time. While the car was on fire, Flynn found a passenger, 28-year-old Felipe Alcala, who was slumped over into the driver’s side and was unconscious. Alcala was not wearing his seatbelt during the crash. Officer Flynn pulled Alcala from the car. A car stopped to help Flynn walk Alcala up the embankment to safety where he was later transported to Stone Corral Elementary school and then airlifted to Kaweah Delta Medical Center in Visalia where he was treated for major injuries. Cortez had minor injuries and sought his own medical aid.

No arrests were made and the officer does not beleive that alcohol and drugs were a factor in the collision. 

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