Two Coalinga men die in crash along Highway 198, west of Interstate 5


The victims' Family members said the driver and passenger were close friends, almost brothers. The men were headed to grab a late dinner with friends at a Denny's near Interstate 5. They were only a mile away from the restaurant when the accident happened.

CHP said the car accident may have been caused by the driver losing control.

"Were perhaps traveling an excess of that allowed the vehicle to drift off the road and caused them to flip over a few times," Ryan Pedersen with the California Highway Patrol said.

Alfredo Moreno, 21, was driving. Family members said Moreno was a Lance Corporal in the Marine Corp Reserves. Moreno's close friend, 20-year-old Ramiro Contreras, was in the passenger seat. Both men died on scene.

""It was a difficult time for them and it was a difficult time for us to have to experience their anguish and pain," Pedersen said.

CHP said Saturday morning's fatal accident adds to the number of recent deadly accidents along Highway 198, West of Interstate 5. "Unfortunately we had a fatal collision involving some young female students out of the Coalinga area and a young man out of Coalinga as well," Pedersen said.

But authorities say it has less to do with the safety of the road, and more to do with drivers thinking they know the curves and driving too fast through it.

"There's efficient signage there and the roadway is in excellent condition, we encourage everyone as always do, to wear your seatbelts try and slow down those advisory signs are there for a reason," Pedersen said.

The California Highway Patrol said one of the men was not wearing a seatbelt and are still investigating the accident.

Copyright © 2021 KFSN-TV. All Rights Reserved.