Around 4:30 Tuesday afternoon, California Highway Patrol officers held back traffic on Highway 99 through Madera County to get pictures of the scene of a fatal crash.
“We're trying to determine if it was a hit and run or not,” said Lt. Cmdr. Dave Paris of the C.H.P.
Investigators say three cars passed a slower moving truck on Highway 99 near Ave. 12. When the drivers merged back in front of that truck, for some reason the driver of a Chevy Aveo lost control and flipped off the road and into a vineyard.
“One driver thinks that when a vehicle changed lanes the driver of the Aveo may have just overreacted, swerved and lost control,” said Lt. Cmdr. Paris.
A story that conflicts another witness report where officers were told another vehicle actually struck the Aveo.
“Officers made traffic stop at 180 and Fulton in Fresno, but that vehicle had no physical evidence to prove it had contact with any vehicle,” said Lt. Cmdr. Paris.
Investigators say the 48 year old woman, 13-year old boy and 6-year old girl riding in the car were returning home to Reedley from a funeral.
They all appeared to be wearing their seatbelts and the child was in a booster seat. However, her head may have hit a post in the field during the rollover.
With so many unanswered questions in this case, officers felt the need to address the importance of safe driving.
“I cannot stress enough to people driving on state highways to travel a safe distance because it gives them time to see a hazard, react and apply the brakes,” said Lt. Cmdr. Paris.
Investigators are evaluating the driver of the car to determine if drugs or alcohol were a contributing factor in this crash.
Meanwhile, the highway patrol is asking for the public's help. If you were a witness to crash or know something about it you are asked to contact the C.H.P.
Copyright 2013 cbs47.tv Nexstar Broadcasting, All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.