Hollister Free Lance employee remains in critical condition
Hollister – A Hollister resident remains in critical condition after colliding with a tractor on Santa Ana Road, according to police.
Joshua Staloch, 29, the sports editor at the Hollister Free Lance, suffered major injuries including a broken leg and severe head trauma after colliding with a tractor on Santa Ana Road near Menzel Road Wednesday just before 2pm, according to the California Highway Patrol.
Staloch, who was riding a 10-year-old Suzuki motorcycle in the westbound lane, attempted to pass a Massey-Ferguson Skip tractor when the vehicle made a left turn in front of him into a driveway, according to CHP Officer Brad Voyles. The motorcycle was traveling about 85 mph.
Staloch had already passed a slow-moving back hoe, which is a tractor designed to dig ditches, and was still in the eastbound lane when he saw the Massey-Ferguson about 300 feet ahead of him, Voyles said. When he attempted to pass, tractor driver Gene Butler, 66, of the Central Valley town of Orosi, made a left-hand turn into a private driveway just west of Menzel Road, according to the CHP.
Staloch skidded but was unable to stop in time to avoid a collision, Voyles said. His motorcycle struck the left side of the tractor in the middle of the eastbound lane of Santa Ana Road, which police closed for approximately 30 minutes to allow an air ambulance to land, he said. Voyles was unsure who called 911.
Staloch was thrown from the motorcycle, and California Department of Forestry emergency personnel from the Fairview Road station arrived within five minutes and immediately provided medical care, according to Capt. Rick Espino. He said Staloch was conscious when firefighters arrived.
Staloch, who is the son of Dispatch Publisher Steve Staloch, suffered a broken leg and serious trauma to the chest and head despite wearing a helmet. His stories occasionally appeared in the Dispatch.