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Passenger killed in semi crash

For The Madera Tribune

A wrecked semi truck is uprighted after striking a van that started to pull out in front of it on Avenue 7 recently. The passenger in the semi truck was killed and the semi driver sustained major injuries as he swerved to avoid the van in the intersection.


A Madera man who was a passenger in a semi truck was killed Tuesday morning after the semi struck a van and overturned at the intersection of Avenue 7 and Avenue 7 1/2 in Firebaugh. The semi truck was hauling two almond harvesting vehicles to an orchard on a flatbed trailer when the collision occurred, according to the California Highway Patrol.

The 55-year-old driver of the 2011 Peterbilt semi had the right of way and reportedly swerved to avoid hitting the van entering the intersection. He sustained major injuries in the rollover and was taken to Community Regional Medical Center via Lifeflight helicopter, where he remains as of Thursday. His passenger and brother, 61-year-old Gurjiv Singh was pronounced dead at the scene.

The driver of the 2019 Nissan van, Daniel Martinez, 44, of Firebaugh was not injured in the collision as the semi swerved and overturned at intersection, just clipping the front of the van.

Avenue 7 was closed for about 6 hours as crews worked to extricate the injured semi truck driver from the cab and clear the wreckage from the scene. A heavy lift wrecker with a small crane was needed to right the cab and trailer of the semi. A small amount of diesel fuel spilled from the semi’s fuel tanks and on to the pavement and asphalt shoulder.

All parties were wearing seatbelts according to officers. The incident remains under investigation. Drugs or alcohol do not appear to be factors at this time. The weather at the time of the morning collision was clear, warm and dry.

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