One killed in Interstate 5 crash
One person was killed in a three-vehicle accident involving two big rigs and a passenger vehicle on Interstate 5 south of Highway 140 in the early morning hours of Wednesday, Jan. 8, according to the California Highway Patrol.
Authorities said the accident occurred shortly after 12:30 a.m. when a 2014 Volvo truck /trailer driven northbound by Alexander Vasquez Jr., 54, of Sun City, Ariz., left the roadway and crossed the center median into the southbound lanes, continuing to travel north.
The CHP said the Volvo sideswiped a southbound 2013 Peterbuilt towing a tanker trailer loaded with 8,600 gallons of gasoline, causing it to overturn onto the shoulder, spilling an undetermined amount of gasoline. The Volvo then collided head-on with a southbound 2004 Lexus.
A 24-year-old Hanford man who was a passenger in the Lexus died at the scene, authorities reported.
The CHP said Vasquez; Cyriss Clayton, 24, of Lemoore, who was driving the Lexus; and Tyler Jenner, 21, of Lemoore, who was a passenger in the Lexus, suffered minor injuries in the accident.
The driver of the Peterbuilt, 47-year-old Charles Ngugi of Sacramento, was not injured, according to CHP reports.
The southbound lanes of I-5 were closed for several hours Wednesday morning and into the early afternoon while the gasoline was off-loaded from the overturned tanker and the situation mitigated, according to the CHP.
The accident occurred about a mile south of Highway 140.
Personnel from the Newman Fire Department and West Stanislaus Fire Protection District responded to 22 calls for service from Jan. 6-12. Fire Chief Keith Bowen said units responded to 13 medical aid calls, four public assists, a trash fire, a vegetation fire, a vehicle fire, a working structure fire and an illegal burn.
The vehicle fire involved a Jan. 6 incident in which an empty big rig trailer was burning on Interstate 5 near Fink Road. Damage was estimated at $35,000.
Local firefighters provided mutual aid support to a structure fire in Grayson on Jan. 7. Crews were committed to that incident for about four hours.
Crews responded to a dumpster fire near Highway 33 and Merced Street on Jan. 12. The cause of the fire was intentional, Bowen reported. Damage was estimated at $500. The incident remains under investigation. Anybody with information regarding the incident is asked to contact the Newman Fire Department, 862-1716.
West Side weather
Newman resident Marge Carvalho, an observer for the National Weather Service, reported the following high/low temperatures and rainfall amounts for the past week. Readings for the previous 24-hour period are taken at 5 p.m. daily.
Monday, Jan. 6: 60/31
Tuesday, Jan. 7: 51/40
Wednesday, Jan. 8: 60/38
Thursday, Jan. 9: 53/38, with .21 inches of rain
Friday, Jan. 10: 60/30, with .02 inches of rain
Saturday, Jan. 11: 62/34
Sunday, Jan. 12: 63/32, with a trace of rain