A devastating head-on collision on New Year’s Day claimed nine lives in southwest Fresno County Friday night. ABC30-TV reported the accident occurred around 8 p.m. on Highway 33 just south of Sutter Avenue on January 1, 2021.
The California Highway Patrol says that a Dodge SUV and a Ford pick-up collided just north of Avenal. Investigators say the 28-year-old man driving the SUV ran off the road, lost control, and then traveled into the southbound lane to cause the head-on crash with the truck.
The Ford Pickup caught fire and once the flames were extinguished first responders found that tragically, eight people had lost their lives inside. Investigators believe seven of those victims were juveniles. An adult female driver was also among the victims.
The driver of the Dodge, from Avenal, was also killed on impact. He was the only occupant of the SUV.
Investigators haven’t determined if drugs or alcohol played a role in the accident. The California Highway Patrol reports that counseling has been offered for the officers who responded to the crash.
Head-On Accident Dangers in Fresno County
The heartbreaking toll head-on collisions can take on victims, their families and the community can be almost too much to bear. A family can be dealt an emotional blow with the news that loved ones have been lost to a tragic mistake by a driver.
Fresno County sees the physical, emotional, and financial damage head-on collisions can do every single year. The Transportation Injury Mapping System (TIMS) documented 106 accidents involving a head-on impact across Fresno County in 2019. Those accidents led to a tragic 17 fatalities and left an almost unbelievable 194 people with injuries.
The consequences of these frightening crashes can leave victims with long, painful recoveries and in tragic cases, leave a family without the love and support of loved ones in the decades to come.