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Fundraising effort to help victims of Christmas Eve crash

Many local residents witnessed the aftermath of a Christmas Eve day crash on Highway 70 near Keddie that claimed the life of a 2-year-old girl.

The Dean family of Atwater was traveling to visit relatives in Quincy, but their trip ended just a few miles from their destination.

Raymond Dean, 29, was driving the family’s 2003 GMC Yukon eastbound on Highway 70, just east of the Spanish Creek Bridge, at 12:22 p.m. One of the rescuers on scene described that particular stretch of roadway as icy at the time.

A 2011 International, driven by 38-year-old Joshua Peters of Greenville, was headed westbound.

According to the California Highway Patrol, the Yukon crossed into the westbound lane and collided with the box truck. The Yukon then continued over the north shoulder and overturned, and subsequently rolled down a steep embankment.

As a result of the collision, 2-year-old Arizona Dean was ejected from the Yukon and sustained major injuries. She later died.

According to family members, Raymond Dean sustained a broken collarbone and other injuries, while his wife, Kelly Dean, 33, suffered a broken ankle as well as other injuries. Their 4-year-old son received minor injuries.

The driver of the box truck, Peters, had minor injuries.

According to the CHP, the collision remains under investigation.

In a report of the incident in the Merced Sun-Star, family said that Raymond Dean was changing jobs and Kelly Dean was a stay-at-home mom. The family has no insurance at the time of the accident.

A GoFundMe account titled the “Arizona Dean Memorial Fund” has been established to help the family.

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