3 sent to hospital after multicar crash in Northwest Fresno

FRESNO, Calif.

The four car crash sent three people to the hospital. The people were complaining of back pains, but police expect them to be okay.

The accident happened just before 7:30 p.m. Three badly damaged cars sat in the westbound lanes of Herndon as a result of a strange chain-collision. Fresno police officers say it started after a woman ran over a dog in the middle of the road.

"She stopped, got out of her car. I guess she was pretty distraught and her car stayed there in the west bound lanes," Joe Gomez with the Fresno Police Department said.

A black Honda and a red Prius stopped behind the woman's vehicle. Police say a third car could not stop in time and caused the first chain collision. Then police say the driver of a silver sedan, identified as 38-year-old Cynthia Florez, was drunk and also failed to stop in time, causing a second chain collision.

"She smashed into the rear car, which pushed into the other cars also. So she was arrested for DUI," Gomez said.

The woman who stopped after hitting the dog was not affected by the multicar accident. But the people in the Honda and the Prius went to the hospital complaining of back pains. Police identified them as a 68-year-old man, and two women, one 30-years-old and the other 48. Police say the driver of the fourth car in the chain -collision was not injured and was able to drive off.

As police cleaned up the scene and got the mangled cars loaded onto tow-trucks the two westbound lanes on Herndon were closed. Only one lane was open, causing traffic to back up and drivers to detour.

Around 8:30 the street was cleared, and the roads were reopened.

Animal services took the dog, who did not survive. Police believe the dog had an owner and was not a stray. The woman who initially stopped for the dog was not involved in the multicar collision.

Police would like to remind everyone if you accidently hit an animal on the road, to pull over to the side of the road, and not stop in the middle of traffic.

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