Madera County Accident Kills Two

August 26, 2010 10:09:54 AM PDT
The crash happened around 3:30 p.m. Saturday and there are two confirmed fatalities.

It took investigators several hours to clear the scene and they say it's clear one of the trucks was at fault as it veered into oncoming traffic.

Officials in Madera County spent Saturday night removing wreckage from a head on collision that left two men dead, and sent a woman and a five-year-old girl to the hospital. "It happened so fast. I mean, we're thinking that truck was trying to pass the truck in front of them, and they encountered this," said one eyewitness.

According to witnesses and the California Highway Patrol, the small pickup truck was driving eastbound on Avenue 12 when it crossed over to the westbound lanes and slammed into another truck that was pulling a trailer.

Shortly after, that truck burst into flames. Both male drivers died on scene. The victim who was pulling the trailer had his wife, a little girl, and a small dog in the truck.

Drivers stopped to help and were able to rescue the woman, the girl and the dog.

"I came to my car, got whatever water bottles I could in there, and they threw it to whatever little fire that had started. They got whoever they could out, but then once the fire started, it was too late," said a witness.

The CHP believes the family traveling with the trailer are from out of town; possibly the bay area. They were on their way home after visiting relatives in Madera Ranchos.

As for the other driver, authorities don't know what caused him to drive into oncoming traffic. "He may have been changing the radio, talking on his phone, not paying attention. We don't know that, obviously. So, we may never know," said Brian Hefner, CHP.

Traffic in the area was diverted because authorities had to shut down Ave. 12 for several hours.

That mother and child who were rescued were taken to the hospital. Their injuries are unknown at this point, but witnesses said they were both conscious and talking.

As for the little dog, the Madera County Animal Control picked it up. It stayed with a foster family Saturday night.


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