Winters graduate missing after truck veers into Putah Creek

Office of Emergency Services teams searched the area with dogs on Tuesday morning. (Rick von Geldern/Winters Express)

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An investigation is underway regarding a single-vehicle accident that hospitalized one Winters graduate with non life-threatening injuries and left a second Winters teen missing.

Shortly after midnight on Sunday morning, sheriff deputies responded to a call of an accident near the east end of Lake Solano County Park and Putah Creek Road, west of Canal Lane. Upon arrival, observed a red truck submerged in Putah Creek. They found an injured young man about 70 yards downstream from the entry point clutching the steep creek bank who told them his friend was still in the truck.

Vacaville Fire Protection District firefighters attempted to access the vehicle, but were unable to reach the submerged truck. Members of the Solano County Sheriff’s Dive Team responded while deputies searched the creek’s shore, and upon reaching the truck later in efforts, found it unoccupied.

The Solano Sheriff’s office identified the missing man as 18-year-old Eduardo Fierros, a 2022 graduate of Winters High School. Fierros is known as Lalo to family and Efi to friends and community members.

Solano County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue personnel, with assistance from the Yolo County
Sheriff’s Office and the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Office were dispatched Sunday morning to search for Fierros. 

At 8:25 p.m., the search was paused until Monday morning when search teams returned with jet skis and sonar. The search continued into the early afternoon without locating Fierros.

Friends, family and volunteers arrived on site Monday to stand vigil and help search the creek with kayaks and paddleboards, but by the end of the day Fierros had not been located.

According to a family member — who wished to remain anonymous — at the scene on Monday, Fierros had attended a quinceañera Saturday evening at the Winters Community Center. After the celebration, Fierros departed with his friend to visit the site of the June 3 fatal ATV accident that claimed the lives of two WHS students.

The family member said Fierros shared a cellphone app with friends connecting in real time their locations, arrival and departure times, and travel routes. The app, he said, indicated the young men first traveled to the ATV accident site at the intersection of Holmes and Margaret Lane.

Thereafter, the vehicle was said to have traveled westbound on Putah Creek Road toward Pleasants Valley Road. The app indicated that prior to reaching Pleasants Valley Road the truck turned around and was returning toward Winters.

As the truck traveled eastbound on Putah Creek Road it left the roadway, clipped a tree and plunged into the creek.

A group of community members and family stands vigil Monday at the point of entry. (Rick von Geldern/Winters Express)

Search efforts
Members of the Solano County Sheriff’s Office’s returned Tuesday morning to continue the search.

Solano County Office of Emergency Services spokesperson Deputy Rex Hawkins said the Solano OES team brought dogs out to search the area. 

“I can only imagine the loss and questions,” he said.

Hawkins thanked their regional partners from the Yolo and Sacramento County Sheriff’s Departments, CHP and fire districts for their assistance.

Solano CHP spokesman Officer Dave Harvey identified the other 18-year-old occupant of the truck is as Julio Vasquez. The CHP is the lead agency handling the accident investigation. Harvey told the Express that the accident investigation is in the early stages and he had few details to share.

Hawkins said the search is continuing and that if Fierros is not located by the weekend there will be a large search. Although the effort is still classified as a “search and rescue” effort, “it is transitioning into a ‘search and recovery,” he said.

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