Two drivers tragically lost their lives in a crash in a Stanislaus County collision early Monday morning. The California Highway Patrol responded to the scene north of Newman around 5:30 a.m. on February 21, 2022.
The Modesto Bee reported the accident happened along River Road, north of Azevedo Road. Investigators determined that a Dodge pickup was traveling north when the driver attempted to pass a big rig. While in the opposite lane, the pickup struck an oncoming Nissan car head-on. Both vehicles then collided with the side of the semi-truck. In the aftermath of the crash, the pickup truck caught fire.
The California Highway Patrol confirmed the sad news that the pickup driver and the driver of the Nissan died at the scene. The driver in the big rig was not injured.
The identities of the victims have not been released. Investigators continue to look into the circumstances surrounding the crash.
Head-On Collision Dangers in Stanislaus County
Travel on narrow rural roads around Newman can be hazardous, especially with the frequency with which you see large trucks from local farms and manufacturers on those roads.
Passing one of these large vehicles can be dangerous, even in spots where passing is allowed. When a driver is trying to pass any vehicle it puts them in the path of oncoming motorists.
A misjudgment by a driver can leave a vehicle in a vulnerable spot for longer than intended and devastating accidents can occur.
California’s Transportation Injury Mapping System (TIMS) records accidents occurring in Stanislaus County each year. When they looked at accidents for 2020 involving vehicles making unsafe lane movements, they found an astonishing amount of cases.
The county recorded 165 total accidents involving drivers on the wrong side of the road or engaged in improper passing and unsafe lanes changes. Those accidents resulted in eight tragic deaths and left 221 people injured.
Stanislaus County and city authorities can work to increase awareness of the dangers involved with passing on rural roads. However, change will only come when drivers decide to take more care when they decide to pass and make lane changes.
A word about fatal traffic accidents in Stanislaus County…
If you or a loved one has been the victim of a careless or reckless driver, you should be aware of the benefits available to you and your family through an insurance claim. This support could help with medical costs and other financial hardships that arise for families after a serious accident. You can read more about these cases on my page about car accident claims after a Stanislaus County accident.