Several fatal car crashes in California over the past week have opened a number of investigations. Primarily solo crashes, they took place in Palo Cedro, Sacramento, Kinsburg and Coarsegold, California between Saturday, July 23 and Monday, July 26. State investigations of these crashes hope to find resolutions to each.
On Saturday, two crashes took place in Sacramento, killing two men, reports News10, an ABC affiliate. At six in the morning, a car crashed on Highway 160. 18 year-old Erik Rivas, leaving work, was allegedly speeding northbound on 160 when he hit a guardrail. Losing control of his car, he struck a tree and died. California Highway Patrol responded to the crash, according to the news source.
Two hours later, Jesus Orosco, 48 years old, was traveling on Marysville Road in a blue pick-up truck. Around 8 in the morning, his car careened through a metal fence, into a building. He later died at an area hospital, but no one else was injured, the news source reports.
The Record Searchlight reports that the next morning, around 4:18 a.m., a 22 year-old man from Redding, California, Jonathan Roger Tibbet, crashed into a utility pole on Deschutes Road in Palo Cedro. Tibbet was found dead at the scene. He was wearing a seat belt. However, his airbag did not properly open.
The Record Searchlight reports that the Shasta County Coroner’s office released his name on Monday. His autopsy was scheduled for July 26 or July 27, along with a toxicology test, conducted by the Shasta County coroner’s office, to determine whether alcohol was a factor in the crash.
In a news release, California Highway Patrol officer Kent Yoshida said Tibbet was driving a Kia Sephia and was apparently heading back to Redding.
Drifting off the east side of the road, he allegedly turned the car to the left with too much force. Tibbet’s vehicle then spun counterclockwise and rolled over – but Yoshida wasn’t sure of how many times it had rolled over. It then hit a utility pole off the road’s side with great force, according to the news report.
Yoshida said, “The car was kind of wrapped around the pole.” Further details should emerge after the investigation of the crash is complete.
On Monday, two separate car crashes killed two people. Near Coarsegold, 73 year-old Barbara Jo Johnson died in her 2000 Lexus on Highway 41 a shade after 3 p.m., reports the Fresno Bee. She was found dead at the scene. Details on the crash were released by the California Highway Patrol on Tuesday morning.
The crash took place close to Coarsegold, about one mile south of Mecca Lane. According to the California Highway Patrol’s report, her car drifted across the highway’s northbound lanes. It then drove up an embankment and into a wooden fence, where it was stopped by a pine tree.
Later that evening, at 9:45 p.m., according to KSEE News, an unidentified passenger died at the cross of Bethel and Clarkson in Kingsburg, California. The dark-colored car, California Highway Patrol officers reported, was broadsided by a white car, driven by 35 year-old Anthony Lopez. After Lopez’ car flipped over, he fled the scene, and is now sought out by helicopter and K-9 units, according to the news source.
According to the California Highway Patrol, the number of people killed per 100 million miles, or the Mileage Death Rate, fell in California between 2006 and 2007 from 1.27 to 1.18 deaths. California’s major causes of car crashes are DUIs, not wearing a seat belt and speeding.