MADERA COUNTY – Two people are dead and three others injured after a head-on collision on Highway 145 this morning.
At 10:41 a.m., CHP and Cal Fire responded to reports of a two-vehicle accident just west of Highway 41.
According to CHP, witnesses reported that the female driver of a gray Ford Fusion had been passing several lines of cars as she headed westbound on Highway 145. There were three passengers in her vehicle.
As the Ford topped a rise in the road just east of the canal, still passing in the oncoming lane, it crashed head-on into an eastbound Hyundai sedan which spun onto the shoulder of the road and caught fire. The crash blocked the roadway in both directions.
Emergency responders were able to extricate the female driver of the Hyundai and began performing CPR, however she succumbed to her injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene.
The driver of the Ford was transported to Community Regional Medical Center with major injuries, as were the two rear passengers. The right front passenger in the Ford was critically injured and died at the scene.
The roadway was closed until 2:10 p.m. as the the injured were treated and transported, and an investigation was conducted.
It is not known whether drugs or alcohol were contributing factors in the crash, which remains under investigation.
The identities and cities of residence of the victims are being withheld at this time pending notification of next of kin.