Fresno Police chief to address recent string of crashes that killed 5 people in less than 2 days

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Five people killed in three separate traffic crashes in the valley over the weekend.

The new approach to keep our streets safe and the tough message from Fresno's police chief.

A Honda Civic destroyed on Kings Canyon, a motorcycle crushed in Southeast Fresno and a bike left in pieces in Central Fresno.

Three weekend crashes killed five people.

Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer said, "People need to think about the impact. Not only the impact of them going to prison but the impact they left behind -- a family having to bury a loved one as a result of their actions."

Daniel and Ramona Mendez were hard at work on a Saturday delivering newspapers when a suspected drunk driver smashed into their Civic and flipped his own car.

Police say he told investigators he was driving 100 miles per hour.
On Facebook, the Mendez's daughter tells me it's still killing her.

Tonya Shaw's sister tells Action News she got thrown so far and so high off the motorcycle, she hit a traffic light. Police say they expect to file manslaughter charges against the SUV driver who hit her.

Chief Dyer tells me she had no license because of a prior DUI.

And James Raby died while riding his bicycle home from work at Pardini's.

Police say 22-year-old Jose Carlos Hernandez had a .11 BAC when they found him a little later, driving on just a rim because of damage to his car.

Chief Dyer says Fresno saw traffic tragedies peak in 2002. They quadrupled their traffic team, increased DUI patrols, and drastically cut down on deaths by changing the culture around drinking and driving.

"But during the recession, we were put in a position where we needed to downsize our traffic bureau and we have done that incrementally over time and I believe what we've seen in our city is that culture that once had changed is changing again for the worse," Dyer said.

Forty-eight people have died in Fresno traffic this year including 23 pedestrians.
Copyright © 2021 KFSN-TV. All Rights Reserved.