FRESNO COUNTY, California – Update: The Fresno County coroner has identified the woman killed as Maria Martinez Ramirez, 20, of Arkansas
The California Highway Patrol says a head-on crash caused a chain reaction of crashes in Fresno County Friday night, killing a young woman and injuring a family.
It happened around 8:50 p.m. at Highway 41 and Harlan Avenue. By 9:02 p.m., the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office Coroner was called to the scene.
CHP spokesperson Mike Salas says a young woman was attempting to cross the highway, legally, when she struck a car head-on northbound.
She was pronounced dead at the scene, and the family was taken to a nearby hospital with moderate to major injuries.
He says although she was acting legally, it appears she didn’t maneuver safely.
A second crash happened when Salas says a pedestrian tried to render aid to the crash victims and another driver of a car reportedly was distracted and crashed into another a big rig head-on. He says the pedestrian was also struck by the driver, sustaining major injuries.
Another car was hit in reaction to the second head-on crash, but the victims are OK.
The victims explained what they saw: “I was thinking of something bad out here. My wife said there must be people laying all over the place. She saw one lady being hit and thrown up. It just happened so quick everything is happening quick and he was just driving too fast.”
The trailer they were hauling is destroyed, one of the victims said.
It’s too early to tell if drugs and/or alcohol was a factor in the crash, Salas says.