Three Rivers commuters were witness to an eerily similar crash just four days after and within a quarter-mile of another head-on accident that left several injured [“Five injured in three-car crash,” January 29, 2016]. This latest collision, at 7:45 a.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 26, also occurred in the straightaway section of Highway 198 east of the entrance to Badger Hill Estates during clear weather conditions.
The Tuesday morning crash occurred when a 2011 Nissan Sentra being driven eastbound drifted across the double centerline and struck a 2013 Chevrolet Silverado headed westbound. Hector Fernandez, 44, of Exeter, the driver of the Chevrolet pickup, told a CHP officer at the scene that he tried to avoid hitting the Nissan, driven by Sarah Doyle, 39, of Visalia.
After impact, both vehicles came to a stop on opposite shoulders of the roadway. The accident report stated that Doyle was traveling 60 mph and Fernandez about 50 mph when the accident occurred.
Fernandez suffered cuts on his legs and complained of back pain. He refused to be transported to the hospital for further treatment.
Doyle suffered a broken left femur and facial injuries and was transported to Kaweah Delta Medical Center for treatment. A CHP officer reportedly examined Doyle’s cell phone but there were no calls recorded at the time of the accident.
The investigating officer said that Doyle’s statement was incomplete and more information will be released soon as to the cause of the accident. Doyle was determined to be at fault and cited for failure to maintain control of her vehicle.
Both drivers were wearing seat belts. Airbags in each of the vehicles deployed.