3 killed in series of crashes on Fresno County roads, CHP says

The crashes, both involving motorcycle riders, happened just about a mile apart.

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ByNico Payne via KFSN logo
Saturday, August 27, 2022
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A string of deadly crashes took place Friday in a matter of hours, and investigators say they've found common factors that likely contributed to the tragedies.

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- The California Highway Patrol is investigating three separate fatal crashes.

The first incident happened around 2 Friday afternoon on Highway 41 near Harlan Avenue.

"That motorcyclist, for unfortunate reasons, decided not to wait for slower moving traffic ahead of him," says Mike Salas with CHP. "As the motorcyclist entered the center median, the double yellow lines, unfortunately, that driver did not see the center median barrier wall directly in front of him."

That crash led to a second wreck about one mile away on Elm and Mt. Whitney Avenues as drivers were being diverted from the incident.

"Unfortunately, another motorcyclist within that slow-moving traffic decided to pass that slow traffic," Salas said. "As he re-entered his lane, he did not see a stopped pick-up pulling a trailer. That motorcyclist collided into the rear of that trailer."

The first two accidents happened within 20 minutes and just hours later, a third wreck on Lincoln Avenue West of Cornelia Avenue turned deadly.

Investigators say a man in a truck drifted onto the right shoulder, over-corrected and lost control.

The third accident was not near the stretch of Highway 41 that narrows down to one lane in each direction for six miles, but the first two victims are now included in the eight lives lost on Highway 41 in the last few years.

Officers say a barrier that was recently installed was intended to help prevent crashes like these.

"It was established to help prevent these fatalities, to prevent people from passing over the double yellow lines into the opposing lanes," Salas said. "Unfortunately, at the beginning of this wall is where that motorcyclist struck."

As we head into the rest of the weekend, it's a reminder to slow down and keep calm.