2 children killed in head-on crash on what neighbors say is dangerous roadway

MADERA, Calif. (KFSN) -- On Saturday afternoon, Nicholas Brenner saw something he doesn't normally see outside his home.

"Heard the helicopter come in, came outside to see where it was, landed here in the yard," Brenner said.

People who live nearby will tell you that what they saw next is more common on roads like this.

"And that's when we saw the accident," Brenner said.

That accident killed two people on near Avenue 12 and Avenue 34 1/2 close to Madera. California Highway Patrol says it was a head-on crash killed the 17-year-old driver of one car and an 11-year-old boy who was a passenger in the other.

Investigators say the driver who was killed drifted into the oncoming lane, but they're unsure why.

"We're still not sure what caused the driver to cross over into the lane," said Sgt. Lincoln McKenna. "But we'd just encourage people to be careful on these two-lane roads."

While police investigate the cause of this crash, Brenner says this stretch of Avenue 12 needs to be driven with care.

RELATED: 2 killed in head-on crash in Madera

"Lot of people want to go really fast, and a lot of people on their phones," he said.

He's only lived near the road for a matter of months, but in that time, he's seen drivers going way over the speed limit too many times.

"Very aggressive, you're never going fast enough," he said.

Saturday night, he saw a car tear through the police barriers set up around the fatal crash, and he says distracted driving is another issue.

"Driving it all day I see people on their phones all day swerving left and right, everybody wants to pass," Brenner said. "I've seen some close calls when people try to pass."

It's unclear what led to Saturday's crash, but it's speeding and distracted driving that Brenner says could lead to more tragedy on Avenue 12.

A memorial was set up for the 17-year-old boy Sunday morning.

People have stopped by all afternoon to pay their respects, and a GoFundMe account has been set up for that victim. The victims' identities have not yet been released.

Copyright © 2021 KFSN-TV. All Rights Reserved.