A traffic accident on a foggy Friday morning in Fresno County, west of Fresno, led to a tragic fatality and left several other people injured. The California Highway Patrol says the accident occurred south of Kerman on Highway 145 on December 3, 2021.
KFSN-TV reports the accident happened around 7:30 a.m. between Jensen and North Avenues. Highway Patrol investigators found that the driver of a minivan traveling south was unable to stop when a semi pulling a tractor-trailer pulled out to enter the highway. The minivan driver struck the tractor-trailer.
The driver of the van was killed in the crash. Three other passengers were rushed to Fresno’s Community Regional Medical Center. Officials on the scene believed their injuries ranged from moderate to severe. Their conditions have not been updated.
Highway Patrol Officers say that foggy conditions were noted at the time of the accident. They continue their investigation into the circumstances surrounding the collision.
Travel Dangers in Foggy Conditions in Fresno County
Foggy conditions can make morning commutes across Fresno County a dangerous ordeal. This is especially true when drivers proceed as if conditions are normal and visibility is unrestricted.
Some motorists may think that an accident involving inclement weather can be blamed on mother nature, but that’s usually not legally accurate. When conditions get bad, drivers are required to travel at speeds safe for conditions in order to avoid collisions. When they don’t they can bear fault in an accident, even when fog is present.
Motorists are also under legal obligations to monitor traffic more carefully when pulling out to enter a highway. Drivers may not be able to spot the full length of a vehicle in front of them during times of reduced visibility.
These types of situations created by the fog that can settle in along the Central Valley on cool fall mornings lead to dangerous traffic encounters each year. In fact, in 2020, Fresno County emergency officials reported 41 accidents involving foggy conditions that led to 67 people suffering injuries. Across the U.S., weather.com found that over 500 victims a year are lost in fog-related collisions.
The late-fall and winter months are when Central Valley drivers are most likely to encounter thick fog on roadways. It’s a good time for reminders about slowing down, taking more care when turning across traffic, and keeping headlights on low beams to give drivers a better chance of seeing other vehicles that may be in their path.
A word about the rights and benefits available to accident victims and their families…
After a serious collision in Fresno County, it’s important that victims and their family members are aware of the rights they have and the insurance benefits available to them.
You can read more about these cases on my page about car accident injury and wrongful death claims in Fresno County.