CHP identifies pick-up truck driver killed in Friday's head-on crash in Madera County

78-year-old Robert Jerry Kovar is the fourth person who was killed in Friday morning's crash to be identified.

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Sunday, February 25, 2024
8 people killed in head-on crash in Madera County, CHP says
Eight people have died following a crash in Madera County early Friday morning.

MADERA COUNTY, Calif. (KFSN) -- The pick-up driver who died in the head-on crash in Madera County Friday morning has been identified.

The video above is from an earlier story and will be updated.

The California Highway Patrol says 78-year-old Robert Jerry Kovar from Auberry was the driver of the pick-up truck that crashed head-on with a van near Avenue 7 and Road 22.

Seven people inside the van were killed in the crash. They were farmworkers, who lived in Kerman, heading to work at Lion Farms.

Officers say most of them were not wearing seatbelts.

RELATED: 8 people killed in head-on crash in Madera County, CHP says

The lone survivor Benito Perez Mundo, identified by family in an interview with Univision 21, was taken to the hospital with major injuries but is expected to recover.

So far, three of the seven killed in the van have been identified.

They are 24-year-old Juvenal Jacobo Talavera from Michoacán, Mexico, 33-year-old Hector Orozco from Jalisco, Mexico and 30-year-old Alfredo Morales Sanchez from Guerrero, Mexico.

RELATED: 4 of 8 people killed in Madera County crash identified

In a statement to Action News, Senator Anna Caballero who represents the 14th Senate District that includes both Kerman and Madera said she is "saddened to the hear the news."

"I offer my sincerest condolences to the families who lost loved ones and are mourning their loss My office is in communication with FUERZA, a local group from Kerman who is planning a candlelight vigil to offer the community a place to grieve," Caballero said. "May these hard-working men rest in peace, and may their families find love, support and healing. We will keep them in our prayers and may their memories be a blessing."

On Sunday, a fundraiser will be held at 592 N Madera Avenue in Kerman. The money will be used to bring Alfredo and Victor home. It will also go towards supporting the family of Benito.