Templeton man killed in crash identified

August 6, 2015

ambulance 4The California Highway Patrol has identified Thomas Mercer as the 77-year-old Templeton man who was killed in a three-car crash on Highway 41 near Morro Bay Saturday afternoon. [KSBY]

At around 2 p.m., 24-year-old Nicholas Bundren, of Atascadero, was driving a Ford Fusion west on Highway 41 east of Mission Drive when he drove into the oncoming lane, directly into the path of a Mercer’s Mercury Grand Marquis. Mercer was pronounced dead at the hospital.

Bundren suffered major injuries in the crash. He was in fair condition at the hospital, as of Monday evening.

Mercer’s passenger, 64-year-old Jane Mercer sustained minor injuries. She remained in the hospital, though, Monday evening.

The driver of the third vehicle, 27-year-old Richard Gentil, of Los Osos, swerved to miss the crash. But, Bundren’s car collided with the side of his vehicle.

Gentil sustained minor injuries. He was not hospitalized.

It remains unknown why Bundren drove into oncoming traffic.

The CHP did not make any arrests. Investigators say everyone was wearing their seatbelts.


Mr. Burden was reportedly speeding and dangerously overtaking and passing other vehicles on the left. If this accident occurred in a no passing zone, or if he was speeding, or DUI then he should NEVER DRIVE AGAIN and should never be allowed to own any sort of vehicle. I hope that his sentence is not reduced because of his injuries or because Mr. Mercer was an elderly man; both reasons often result in lower sentences.

People who drive recklessly should be permanently banned from driving. A number of countries have adopted such laws to reduce the threat from reckless or drunk drivers.


Tom was a fine gentleman, attending mass at both St Wiiliams and St Rose, he was active in bible study and an advocate for the needy. He will be missed.