A 21-year-old man who was last seen driving an all-terrain vehicle in the Westside area was found dead in a canal early Friday, the California Highway Patrol reported.
The deceased has been identified as Sebastian Marquez, 21, of Chicago Ill. It is unclear whether Marquez was now residing in the area or was visiting.
Marquez was riding a 1997 Yamaha Banshee eastbound on an unnamed country road east of River Road. He was last seen around 11:30 p.m. Thursday.
The Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department was later contacted regarding an accident in the area and began a search. They found Marquez partially submerged in the main West Stanislaus Channel, just west on the San Joaquin River, shortly before 2:30 a.m. Friday. He was declared deceased at the scene.
The CHP was called to investigate the collision. Preliminary investigation suggests that the ATV left the roadway and descended a dirt embankment. It overturned in a quagmire and ejected the driver into the canal.
It is not known at this time if Marquez suffered fatal injuries as a result of the accident or if he drowned.
Marquez was not wearing a helmet.
The investigation has not yet determined whether drugs or alcohol were factors in the collision. The investigation is ongoing.