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Father, son swerve to avoid dog and die in head-on collision

July 11, 2011 |  7:44 am

This post has been corrected. See the note below.

A Landers man and his son died Thursday in a head-on collision on a rural highway in Yucca Valley caused by a dog that wandered onto the road, the Riverside Press-Enterprise reported.

Leslie Matzek, 75, was driving south on California 247 shortly after 2 p.m. when a large dog walked onto the roadway near Buena Vista Road, witnesses told investigators.

Matzek swerved, crossed into the oncoming lane and hit a Ford pickup truck, the Riverside newspaper reported. Jeffrey Matzek, 11, who was sitting in the front seat, died at the scene.

His father was taken to a Palm Springs hospital, where he died hours later. The driver of the pickup, John Buzzatto, 54, of Joshua Tree, suffered only minor injuries.

[For the Record, 3:01 p.m. July 12: An earlier version of this post mistakenly reported that the elder Matzek was 35 years old.]

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