Four California residents are dead in spite of efforts by the California Highway Patrol to extricate
passengers from a two-car collision at Highways 99 and 162 near Marysville. The Sacramento Bee described the terrible accident, noting that:
A Dodge pickup southbound on Highway 99 veered into the opposite lane for unknown reasons and collided with a Ford Explorer driven by 41-year-old Rodrigo Ramirez, who carried five passengers.
Moments later, a Ford Superduty pickup behind the SUV clipped the Explorer, causing the truck to spin out off the roadway.
The two men went to the Dodge pickup, which was almost fully engulfed in flames and pulled the injured driver, Ryan Finnerty, 21, of Roseville, out of his truck.
Hague then went to the passenger side of the SUV and, with the help of Richard Martinez, the uninjured driver of the Ford Superduty, pulled an 11-year-old boy and a 35-year-old man from the Explorer.
[Gasoline] was ignited by flames from the Dodge pickup, and the SUV was engulfed in flames within seconds, the CHP said.
After California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection personnel arrived and put out the flames, officers discovered the four bodies inside the SUV.
The CHP said the dead were all from Live Oak and identified them as Ramirez, 41, Gustavo Martinez, Rigoberto Martinez and Gabriella Rosas. Three people also were hospitalized.
The tragedy of the incident is that while law enforcement officers were on scene and attempted to remove occupants for their safety, they were unable to. It is unknown why the passengers were unable to exit the Ford Explorer. With the Halloween weekend just passed and Thanksgiving coming soon, motorists should be aware that more drivers will be on the roads for the holiday season, increasing the risk for potential injuries or worse.
[Image: Artur Bergman via Flickr]