Seven children and two adults lost their lives in a horrific car crash in central California on New Year’s Day, with investigators now seeking the public’s help in determining the cause.
As per reports, the Californian Highway Patrol is hoping to talk to witnesses who may have seen what happened when the two vehicles – an SUV and a truck – collided on rural State Route 33.
The seven children involved, aged between 6 and 15, were from two related families traveling in a Ford F-150 truck that was struck by a Dodge Journey SUV at around 8 p.m.
Evidence from the scene of the devastation reportedly indicates that the Dodge was being driven by a 28-year-old man who veered onto the dirt shoulder for an unknown reason.
In correcting his vehicle, the driver then swerved into the southbound lane and struck the Ford.
The Ford is said to have burst into flames on the dirt shoulder. When the fire was extinguished, it was revealed that there were eight occupants inside the vehicle, including seven children.
“When the fire was extinguished, tragically it was discovered there were eight occupants — seven of which appeared to be juveniles — inside the Ford,” CHP Capt. Kevin Clays said on Saturday.
“We are working with the Fresno County Coroner’s Office to identify the occupants.”
The driver of the Dodge was identified as Daniel Luna. He was the only passenger traveling inside the vehicle.
Toxicology results are pending that will determine if alcohol or drugs were a factor. At this stage, bad weather conditions have been ruled out.
My heart goes out to all those who have lost their lives in this tragic happening.
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