Man dies in head-on crash on SR-145

A 69-year-old man from Delphi was killed in a four-vehicle traffic collision on State Route 145 near Road 36, after letting his pickup truck drift into on-coming traffic, according to the California Highway Patrol.

Michael Nesbitt was driving westbound at an unknown speed about 6:20 a.m. on Friday, Oct. 13 when his 1995 Dodge Dakota pickup crossed the center line just west of Road 36 and collided with the left front of an eastbound 2005 Ford F-150 pickup.

The impact caused both vehicles to rotate and the Dodge Dakota pickup was then struck in the passenger’s door and side by two other eastbound vehicles. Nesbitt was pronounced dead at the scene.

Roadway conditions were clear and dry at the time of the collision. The three other drivers, all men from the Madera area, declined medical treatment at the scene, but a male passenger in one of the vehicles was taken to Community Regional Medical Center with a possible broken leg.

The incident remains under investigation, but alcohol does not appear to be a factor in the collision according to CHP public information officer Greg Rodriguez.

Morning commuter traffic on busy State Route 145 was snarled for about two hours and detoured around the scene of the multiple crashes as emergency personnel worked to investigate the incident and clear the roadway.