Deadly weekend on Kings County Highways: Four fatal crashes, three involving drugs/alcohol

KINGS COUNTY, Calif. (KFSN) -- One of the deadly crashes happened almost directly behind the California Highway Patrol's Hanford offices. Early Sunday morning, the CHP says a woman named Lucia Gomez was going the wrong way on Highway 1-98, approaching two oncoming vehicles headed east.

"The front vehicle saw the car, swerved, but the car behind that didn't have enough time to react to it and they ultimately went head-on," Officer Ken Bird of the California Highway Patrol said.

The driver of that car is dead and her passenger injured. Gomez meanwhile, received major injuries and is still in the hospital.

Officers believe she was under the influence, though it has not yet been determined what. They do know alcohol was a factor in two other deadly crashes on Kings County roadways, including an especially violent one.

Saturday evening, a 24-year-old motorcyclist was hit from behind on Highway 198 near Lemoore. The biker was ejected, and three other vehicles accidentally hit him in the road.

He died, and the man who first hit him, David Workman, was arrested.

The CHP also arrested Samantha Roque, after they say she drunkenly drifted into the opposite lane on Highway 41, colliding with a car carrying five people from Los Angeles. Two were 10-year-old kids, one of them died.

California Highway Patrol Officer Ken Bird says it's time for community members to start being good witnesses.

"Even if they're just walking to their car stumbling, let's call that in, let us decide if it's something that we need to take action on. Even if it's a slight swerve, you're like oh maybe they're just changing the radio station, call it in, we'll stop and we'll stop that person, we'll investigate it."

And the other fatal crash happened yesterday morning, also on Highway 41 near Madison Avenue. The CHP says a 63-year-old woman died after swerving into oncoming traffic.

Both of the passengers in the other car had major injuries.

Obviously, there aren't enough law enforcement officers to patrol every corner, officer Bird says. But he believes if more people start to say something, they just might be able to stop a tragedy before it happens.
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