The Fresno Police officer and wrong-way driver killed in a crash Monday on Highway 180 have been identified.
The officer was identified Tuesday as Phia Vang, 48. The other driver was identfied as Cameron Pryor, 33, of Fresno.
Fresno Mayor Lee Brand released a statement of condolences for Vang on Tuesday.
“We are mourning the loss of Police Officer Phia Vang, who passed away Monday afternoon while involved in an off-duty car accident. Officer Vang was a well-loved and respected member of the Fresno Police Department, a 26-year veteran who was most recently assigned to the Fresno Area Express (FAX) Unit, and he will certainly be missed.
“My thoughts and prayers are with the Vang family during this most difficult time and my condolences go out to his fellow officers. We’re fortunate to live in a community that understands and appreciates the important role that law enforcement plays in our everyday lives. We’re a better city because of the brave and caring men and women of the Fresno Police Department.”
Vang is a 26-year veteran of the Police Department.
The crash happened on Highway 180 near McCall.
Officials said Pryor was the wrong-way driver who hit at least five other cars before colliding head on with the Vang’s truck.
Vang was leaving work and driving home alone in his personal vehicle and was struck head-on by a wrong way driver who also died in the collision, the Police Department said Tuesday.
At this point CHP said it’s too early to know if alcohol or drugs were involved, but they are investigating why the driver was heading the wrong direction.
They said they had already received calls of someone driving the wrong way, but before officers could get to the driver he was already involved in the fatal crash.
“As a result of that last collision both the wrong way driver and the last driver succumb to their injuries at the scene,” said Sergeant Joseph Bianchi with the California Highway Patrol.
We are told Vang was alone in his vehicle at the time of the crash and was wearing his seatbelt.
“Three to four additional patients were treated and transported from the scene,” said Seth Brown, with Fresno County Fire.
The fatal crash diverting traffic on Westbound Highway 180 for hours as crews worked to clear the roadways.
Vang leaves behind his wife, three sons and one daughter. No other information on Pryor was immediately available.