UPDATED 1:35 PM PT – Monday, January 4, 2021
Authorities in central California are investigating a fiery head-on car crash that killed nine people on New Year’s day.
At a press conference Saturday, officials in Fresno County confirmed that a truck with seven children and one female driver burst into flames after it was struck by an SUV.
The driver of the SUV, identified as 28-year-old Daniel Luna, also died in the collision.
“The Dodge had veered onto the dirt shoulder of State Route 33,” California Highway Patrol Captain Kevin Clays said. “The driver of the Dodge failed to maintain control of the vehicle, and travelled back across the southbound lane, resulting in a head on collision.”
Authorities reported the truck did not have enough seatbelts for all eight passengers on board. Investigators have not yet determined whether drugs and alcohol were involved in the collision.
Resolve to start the New Year right! Buckle up, drive sober, and always adhere to a safe, legal speed. With the public’s assistance, our goal is to make 2021 the safest year yet on California’s roadways. pic.twitter.com/SRcR0XPw9U
— CHP Headquarters (@CHP_HQ) January 1, 2021
Moving forward, California Highway Patrol urged passengers and drivers to always wear a seat belt and keep their eyes on the road.