The 21-year-old Morgan Hill man who died after he sped through a
southeast Morgan Hill intersection and collided with a produce
truck that spilled a load of peppers, has been identified as Martin
Maese, II, of Morgan Hill. He was driving a silver 1994 Ford
Mustang that rolled numerous times Tuesday after hitting the truck,
before it landed as a heap of twisted metal in a field about 40
feet off the road.
The 21-year-old Morgan Hill man who died after he sped through a southeast Morgan Hill intersection and collided with a produce truck that spilled a load of peppers, has been identified as Martin Maese, II, of Morgan Hill. He was driving a silver 1994 Ford Mustang that rolled numerous times Tuesday after hitting the truck, before it landed as a heap of twisted metal in a field about 40 feet off the road, according to California Highway Patrol Officer Jaime Rios.
The accident happened about 10:23 a.m. at the intersection of Columbet and East Middle avenues, a rural area between Morgan Hill and San Martin.
Maese was pronounced dead at the scene, Rios said. According to a CHP press release, Maese suffered a major head injury in the crash.
Witnesses told police that the Mustang, which was going south on Columbet Avenue, was traveling at least 80 mph and ran a stop sign at East Middle Avenue, Rios said.
The 1968 flat-bed Chevrolet produce truck was going west on East Middle Avenue when the two vehicles collided in the middle of the intersection, Rios said.
The driver of the truck, Chester Togliatti, 44 of Morgan Hill, was taken to Saint Louise Regional Hospital with a complaint of pain and minor injuries, Rios said.
Investigators have not yet determined at what angle or position the two vehicles collided, Rios said.
The collision caused the truck to swerve into a fruit tree on the side of East Middle Avenue. Crates of peppers spilled off the truck, covering the road just west of the point of impact.
Also hospitalized was the 20-year-old passenger of the Mustang, Luis Molanprez of Morgan Hill, who was airlifted to San Jose Regional Hospital. Rios did not know the severity of his injuries.
Wreckage and broken parts from the Mustang scattered the intersection and the sides of Columbet Avenue. The front bumper was laying on the ground underneath the small grove of fruit trees on the southwest corner of the intersection, and a wheel was detached from the vehicle. It landed next to a house about 20 feet from the Mustang.
Rios said it appeared the car rolled several times before it came to rest off the side of Columbet Avenue.
The accident was initially called in by a Santa Clara County Sheriff’s deputy, Rios said. But it is unclear if the deputy was in pursuit of the Mustang or if he was near the intersection for another reason.
The accident is under investigation, Rios said. Police spoke to Togliatti before he was taken to the hospital, and Rios said the truck driver did not seem to be impaired. The investigation will determine if the Mustang driver was under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
A woman who lives in a house on the southeast corner of the intersection was outside watering her plants when the crash happened. Sylvia Yanes, 43, did not see the accident but she heard what sounded like a loud explosion when the two vehicles impacted.