Driver killed in Merced County crash along Highway 59 identified by coroner

Andrew Kuhn/

The Merced County Sheriff Coroner’s Office has identified a driver killed Sunday when his vehicle struck a tree along Highway 59 in Merced County as 28-year-old Benjamin Loewen of Winton, according to Deputy Alexandra Britton.

Authorities said Loewen was driving a 1993 Honda coupe south on Highway 59, south of Turlock Road, at a high rate of speed. According to the CHP, it appears the driver attempted to pass another vehicle and lost control. The Honda spun out and crashed into a tree off the east shoulder of the roadway.

The CHP said the man was pronounced dead at the scene. Anyone with information about the accident is asked to contact the Merced area CHP office at 209-356-6600.