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8 killed on county highways

Wild driving causes 2 separate wrecks

3 passengers hurt, rushed to hospital

An unidentified female driver allegedly ran a stop sign at high speed Saturday morning about 11 a.m. at the intersection of Road 30 and Avenue 9 in south Madera County, killing herself, her male passenger and three other men in a Chevy Silverado pickup truck, according to The California Highway Patrol.

The unidentified female was reportedly driving a Dodge Charger at a high rate of speed when she failed to stop at the posted intersection and struck the pickup truck broadside, causing it to roll over into a vineyard.

The Charger then burst into flames with the woman and man still inside. Authorities have not ayet been able confirm the identities of the occupants of the Charger.

Killed in the pickup were the driver William Morris Siegel, Jr, 49, of Lemoore, Taylor Scott Hanning, 32, of Layton, and 75-year-old Joe Frank Avila, Jr., of Hanford, according to authorities.

The three men were all wearing seat belts, emergency crews said, but they likely died from the force of the impact and rollover.

The incident remains under investigation. Anyone with further information is asked to call the Madera office of The California Highway Patrol at 675-1025.

Then, a 24-year-old Fresno woman driving the wrong way on southbound State Route 99 early Sunday morning killed herself and two people in another vehicle, according The California Highway Patrol.

Samantha Pena was allegedly driving northbound alone in a Toyota sedan about 3 am in the southbound lanes of SR 99, just south of Avenue 11 when she struck a Ford SUV with a family from Orange Cove almost head on.

The force of the impact caused the Ford to overturn multiple times on the roadway, killing the driver Pablo Barba, 67, and passenger Catalina Barba, 69, and seriously injuring the rear occupants Valentin Barba, 26, and two boys, 12 and 13 years old. They were taken to Community Regional Medical Center with major injuries.

It is not known why Pena was driving the wrong way on the interstate, but officers said an investigation was underway and toxicology reports were pending. All parties were wearing their seat belts, according to CHP.

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