5 killed in fiery crash between big rig, pickup truck on I-5, part of highway closed

A fiery vehicle crash on I-5 has caused multiple deaths and led to part of the highway being shut down in Fresno County, authorities say.

ByABC30.Com Staff KFSN logo
Thursday, January 7, 2021
5 killed in fiery crash between big rig, pickup truck on I-5
Both vehicles caught fire, and five people in the pickup truck died, the CHP said. They say three of those killed were children.

FRESNO COUNTY, Calif. (KFSN) -- This is the aftermath of a deadly head-on crash between a pick up truck and a big rig in Western Fresno County.

The vehicles were so mangled from the impact on interstate five near Panoche road, they were left unrecognizable.

"This has been a bad start to the year for us," says Rory Marks with Coalinga CHP.

Coalinga CHP officers say all of the family members inside the Chevrolet truck died.

The passengers included a woman who was eight months pregnant, her three children, ages 1, 8, and 10, and her mother-in-law.

They were all from northern California.

Authorities say the driver of the pick-up somehow lost control, crossed over the dirt median and crashed head on into the semi.

"The forces multiplied based on the speeds and it usually creates a pretty bad collision and since this was such a bad crash that it caused a fire to both vehicles," Marks said.

Officers say the 52-year-old man driving the semi only suffered minor injuries and was able to escape his burning truck, but the family was trapped.

This crash comes of the heels of another crash near Coalinga Friday night that killed nine people, including seven children.

RELATED: 7 kids among 9 people killed in head-on crash in Fresno County

"For the Coalinga area, it is disheartening to have back-to-back crashes like this where the loss of life takes a toll on you," Marks said.

Although CHP officers are still investigating this crash, they're urging drivers to always be attentive when they're behind the wheel.