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Calexico residents killed in collision with farm labor bus are identified

April 02, 2002|By MARIO RENTERIA, Staff Writer

CALEXICO — Authorities have identified two Calexico residents who died in a two-vehicle accident Monday morning on Highway 98 after the compact car in which they were traveling collided head-on with a farm labor bus.

County Sheriff's Office Coroner Investigator Deputy Rick Williams said Hector Fernando Esquer, 37, and Joaquin Garcia, 49, died in the accident. Both were riding inside a small four-door vehicle Esquer was driving.

A California Highway Patrol press release stated the two men were killed about 5:49 a.m. after the car collided with a farm labor bus.

The press release stated 21 people were inside the bus, including the driver, Leticia Partida, 38, of El Centro. Of those 21 passengers, only four reported injuries, and those were minor injuries to the head, neck, chest and shoulders.

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According to the press release, Esquer was driving west on Highway 98 about seven miles east of Highway 7 at a speed of about 70 mph. The bus was heading east on Highway 98 at a speed of about 55 mph.

The press release states Esquer failed to negotiate a turn and drove off the road onto the dirt shoulder. Esquer then tried to steer back onto the road but overcorrected and his car ran into the bus.

The two men killed were not wearing seat belts.

>>Staff Writer Mario Rentería can be reached at 337-3441.

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