Dos Palos woman killed in hit-and run motorcycle vs. car crash identified

A Dos Palos woman killed in a Merced County hit-and run crash Sunday evening has been identified as 38-year-old Esmeralda Valencia.

Esmeralda Valencia was the passenger on a 2007 Kawasaki Ninja 250cc motorcycle operated by Anthony Lee Valencia, 41, of Dos Palos.

The crash was reported at 9:15 p.m. The motorcycle was traveling north on Arroya Avenue, near Dos Palos, when a black Honda car traveling west on Linden Road went through the intersection, going in front of the motorcycle, causing the collision, according to a California Highway Patrol report.

Esmeralda Valencia died at the scene, while Anthony Lee Valencia suffered a major leg injury, the report states. The victims’ relationship was described by authorities as girlfriend-boyfriend.

The driver fled the scene in the Honda, according to the report. Both the suspect and vehicle were still outstanding as of Tuesday morning, CHP Los Banos Officer Anthony Mariscal said.

Anyone with information on the Honda, its driver or the collision is asked to contact CHP Los Banos Officer Anthony Mariscal at 209-826-3811.

Vikaas Shanker is an award-winning reporter covering education, crime and courts for the Merced Sun-Star and Los Banos Enterprise. After growing up in Naperville, Illinois and graduating from the University of Kansas, he reported in several Chicago suburbs before moving to Merced County in 2016.