At least two killed in multi-car pileup on fog-shrouded central California highway
SELMA, Calif. (AP) — About 90 vehicles piled up in two chain-reaction accidents in dense fog Tuesday, killing two people and injuring about two dozen others.
The first crash involved 63 vehicles, including six tractor-trailer trucks. Ten minutes later, a second crash 1 1/2 miles south, tied up 24 vehicles, causing minor injuries, said California Highway Patrol officer Axel Reyes.
Witnesses said visibility was around 50 feet along Highway 99, south of Fresno.
Oscar Anaya, 38, of Visalia, was the first hit. He stopped when he saw brake lights ahead and was struck by another pickup.
“It was so scary, so loud,” said Anaya as he prepared to drive away with a dented bumper.
Others weren’t so lucky.
Joe Galba, 43, of Visalia, heard a series of crashes — including a truck hitting his car — and swerved onto the shoulder before landing in a ditch. He remarked at how fast some drivers were traveling.
“As they passed, I said, ‘See you on the news,”‘ Galba said.
Police said two victims died in the crashes along the heavily traveled highway, which runs north-south through the San Joaquin Valley.
Chain-reaction pileups blamed on dense winter fog are not unusual in the area. On Jan. 3, 77 vehicles smashed together near Caliente in a series of 15 rapid-fire collisions that killed one man and injured 15 others.