On May 10, 2020, at approximately 1315 hours, the California Highway Patrol (CHP) Fresno Communications Center (FCC) received a report of a traffic collision involving multiple vehicles along State Route 99 northbound, just south of Mountain View Avenue. Officers from the Fresno Area CHP and medical personnel responded to the scene. The collision scene was within a construction area; however, no active construction was being conducted at the time. The two northbound lanes were separated by a permanent concrete barrier wall which changed the roadway configuration into two individual northbound lanes of traffic. Upon arrival at the collision scene, a total of six (6) vehicles were located blocking the northbound #2 lane. Initial investigation determined the following:
All traffic in the northbound #2 lane had come to a complete stop for an undetermined reason. For reasons yet to be determined, the 60-year-old male driver from Dinuba, Ca, who was driving the Kenworth truck/tractor with trailer (loaded with cherries) failed to stop behind the stopped traffic. The Kenworth truck collided into the rear of a Toyota pickup causing a major chain reaction collision involving four additional vehicles. Due to the severity of the impact, the Kenworth truck caught fire, engulfing three of the involved vehicles. CHP officers arrived within minutes of the initial call all and assisted in the removal of several involved occupants. Sadly, an 11-year-old juvenile passenger in one of the involved vehicles succumbed to her injuries and was pronounced deceased at the scene.
In total, seven of the fifteen occupants were transported to Community Regional Medical Center (CRMC) with injuries consisting of moderate to major. The northbound #2 lane remained closed for several hours due the investigation and damage to the temporary wall along the east roadway edge of the northbound #2 lane.
The consumption of alcohol or drugs is not believed to be a factor in this collision. All occupants are believed to have been restrained in seat belts. The investigation is ongoing.