Multiple fog-related crashes close Highway 198 between Lemoore and Hanford

HANFORD, Calif. (KFSN) -- More than 20 fog-related accidents on a four mile stretch of Highway 198 caused the South Valley freeway to be shut down for several hours. It happened Tuesday morning on eastbound 198 between Lemoore and Hanford.

Kevin Guitas spent time looking over the damage to his Hyundai. He is one of the many drivers involved in 20 accidents along a four-mile stretch of eastbound Highway 198. Guitas says he saw the dense fog and began slowing down.

"Cars started passing me up, and just as they were passing me up they started piling up; it was a lot of cars," he said.

Video showed cars scattered across the freeway. The California Highway Patrol says five people were taken to hospitals from the scene. As many as seven other people were also hurt. Thankfully, no one was killed.

"Folks need to remember to constantly change their driving for the environment that they're driving in," said CHP Officer Adam Barresi.

Barresi says Highway 198 was shut down for four hours as crews cleaned up the mess. Most of the 42 cars involved in the accidents had to be towed. Barresi says the visibility at the time of the accident was 600 feet. He adds that this year the fog hasn't been too bad, so people aren't being as cautious.

"Simply in the fog to slow down, to increase their following distance, and to use their headlights; make sure their low beams are on and that their vehicle's lighting equipment is working properly," said Barresi.

That's the message he hopes this scene echoes -- reminding everyone to be safe. Anyone involved in this accident can go to the Hanford Highway Patrol office to pick up a report.

Copyright © 2021 KFSN-TV. All Rights Reserved.