‘A death trap’: Drivers call for change after deadly crashes on Highway 180

Local News

FRESNO COUNTY, California. (KSEE) – Memorials line the stretch of Highway 180 outside Sanger following a series of fatal crashes over the years.

The latest memorial for Amanda Smith, a 34-year-old woman killed Saturday when a driver lost control and crossed the median near McCall Avenue and hit her car.

It’s the same spot Theresa McGee lost her mother Patricia in a crash in 2017.

“Yesterday when I was driving home from work I started crying because I saw her family on the side of the road with flowers and sitting down with candles and that’s exactly how we were,” said McGee.

A memorial has been set up along Highway 180 for Amanda Smith.

That familiar pain prompted her to post on Facebook to see if anyone was interested in starting a petition to make the road safer.

From speeding to lack of guardrails and highway patrols, hundreds agreed the road is costing lives.

“It still feels like it was yesterday or last week, it’s hard to heal from it, it hurts a lot as well you know,” said Corey Vang.

Corey is the oldest son of former Fresno Police officer Phia Vang. 

Phia was killed in 2019 near the intersection at McCall Avenue when he was hit by a wrong-way drunk driver.

Fresno Police Office Phia Vang was killed in a crash on Highway 180 in 2019.

“I do hope they hear our voices and our concerns,” said Corey.

To this day, he tries to avoid the highway entirely until something can change. 

“It’s disheartening, it makes us really uncomfortable knowing that nothing has been done and like my mom says, I can’t believe another accident has happened,” Corey explained.

For the families who’ve lost loved ones, each crash reopens old wounds.

“We are all devastated by it every single day. And the tragedy of it all, every time we turn around there’s another fatal accident,” said McGee.

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July 23 2021 05:30 pm

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