Head-on crash kills man, juvenile on Highway 180

Fresno CHPs respond to head-on collision on Highway 180 leaving two dead, one with moderate injuries

VISALIA – The recent collision left one man dead at the scene of the accident and his juvenile passenger with life-threatening injuries that turned fatal despite life-saving measures.

On April 25, at approximately 11:20 a.m., the Fresno Area CHP Communications Center received a call of an injury collision on State Route 180 east of Alta Road, in eastern Fresno County. Officers from the Fresno Area CHP and medical emergency personnel responded to the scene. Preliminary investigation indicates a 33-year-old male of Fresno, CA, was driving a Jeep Liberty eastbound on State Route 180 with a 13-year-old juvenile right front passenger. Christopher McAlaster, 44, of Woodlake, CA, was driving a Chevrolet Silverado truck westbound on State Route 180 with two juvenile passengers ages 16 and 4.

For reasons yet to be determined, the driver of the Jeep allowed his vehicle to steer to the left, crossing over the center double yellow lines. The Jeep entered the opposing westbound lane, directly into the path of the approaching Chevrolet. As a result, the front of the Jeep collided head-on into the front of the Chevrolet within the westbound lane of State Route 180 causing major intrusion into both vehicles.

Due to the severity of the impact, the driver of the Jeep who was not secured by a seat belt, was ejected, and sustained fatal injuries at the scene. His right front passenger sustained critical life-threatening injuries and was flown to Community Regional Medical Center (CRMC) by Sky-Life helicopter. Despite lifesaving efforts, the 13-year-old passenger was pronounced deceased at CRMC.

The driver of the Chevrolet sustained moderate injuries and was transported to CRMC. The right front 16-year-old passenger and the 4-year-old rear passenger who was secured in a child restraint seat were not injured but were also taken to CRMC for observation. It is not known if alcohol and/or drugs was a factor on the part of the Jeep’s driver, pending toxicology results. The investigation is ongoing. For any additional information contact the Fresno Area Public Information officer at 559-705-2200.

Collision reports

On April 27, at approximately 5:35 a.m. the California Highway Patrol (CHP) Fresno Communication Center (FCC) received a call of a vehicle versus semi collision which occurred on State Route 43, north of Avenue 56. Officers from the Visalia area CHP and medical personnel responded to the scene. The preliminary investigation determined that Jorge Huesla was driving a 2020 Kenworth tractor-trailer combination southbound on State Route 43, north of Avenue 56, and was stopped in the roadway waiting behind other stopped traffic.

Simultaneously, a 2017 Nissan approached the Kenworth from the rear at unknown speed. The driver of the Nissan, 71, failed to stop and collided into the rear of the Kenworth. The driver of the Nissan was unrestrained and sustained fatal injuries as a result of this crash. The California Highway Patrol wants to remind people that seat belts save lives when properly worn.

The investigation is ongoing, and it is unknown if alcohol and/or drugs were a factor in this crash. Any information or inquiries may be routed to the Visalia area CHP.

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