Crashes on ru­ral roads leave 5 dead, in­clud­ing 19-year-old hit by sus­pected DUI big rig driver

The Fresno Bee (Sunday) - - News - BY CRES­EN­CIO RO­DRIGUEZ-DEL­GADO cdel­[email protected]­ BY MAR­I­LYN CASTANEDA mcas­[email protected]­ Cres­en­cio Ro­driguez-Del­gado: 559-441-6304, @cres_guez

Five peo­ple died in crashes on ru­ral roads Fri­day night and early Satur­day in the cen­tral San Joaquin Val­ley, in­clud­ing a 19-year-old Fresno woman killed when a big rig driver al­legedly ran a stop sign while un­der the in­flu­ence of mar­i­juana.

The vic­tim in that Fri­day night crash was iden­ti­fied by the Fresno County Coro­ner’s Of­fice as Olivia Men­doza, 19.

An­dre Hill Jr., 31, of Bal­ti­more, iden­ti­fied as the big rig driver, was ar­rested on sus­pi­cion of DUI and gross ve­hic­u­lar man­slaugh­ter.

Cal­i­for­nia High­way Pa­trol spokesman Mike Salas said the crash hap­pened around 7:10 p.m. just out­side Selma, at the in­ter­sec­tion of Moun­tain View and Clo­vis av­enues.

CHP says Hill was north­bound on Clo­vis Av­enue and did not stop at a stop sign be­fore slam­ming into the Honda Civic that Men­doza was driv­ing west­bound on Moun­tain View.

Hill’s big rig was car­ry­ing about 80,000 pounds of pro­duce.

Af­ter hit­ting the Honda, Hill con­tin­ued north­ward and later struck an­other big rig head-on, Salas said.

Hill was in the Fresno County Jail with to­tal bail set at $98,500. He and the other big rig driver did not suf­fer ma­jor in­juries.


One man was killed Satur­day morn­ing af­ter crash­ing head-on with a big rig in Madera County.

Ac­cord­ing to CHP Sgt. Lincoln McKenna, the crash hap­pened around 4:45 a.m. on Av­enue 21 west of Road 26.

McKenna said a 1995 Chevro­let pickup was trav­el­ing east­bound on Av­enue 21, when for an un­known rea­son, the ve­hi­cle crossed over into the west­bound lane and col­lided head-on with a trac­tor-trailer rig.

The 39-year-old male driver of the Chevy was pro­nounced dead at the scene. His name was not re­leased, pend­ing no­ti­fi­ca­tion of next of kin.

The driver of the semi truck sus­tained no in­juries.

No other pas­sen­gers were in the ve­hi­cles, which both sus­tained ma­jor dam­age.

Drugs or al­co­hol were not in­volved, McKenna said.


A 28-year-old Riverdale man died early Satur­day morn­ing af­ter his pickup rolled over and crashed into a field near Caruthers.

He has been iden­ti­fied as Je­sus Del­gado Ro­driguez.

CHP spokesman Lenny Sher­man said the crash hap­pened around 4:30 a.m. on Elm Av­enue near Kamm Av­enue.

When of­fi­cers ar­rived they found a 2004 Chevy Sil­ver­ado truck in a jalapeno pep­per field.

Sher­man said ev­i­dence showed that Del­gado Ro­driguez was trav­el­ing south­bound on Elm when his ve­hi­cle started go­ing off the road­way and rolled over. The driver was ejected about 20 feet from the ve­hi­cle.

Del­gado Ro­driguez was pro­nounced dead at the scene by emer­gency re­spon­ders.

Of­fi­cers found beer cans in­side the ve­hi­cle and sus­pect al­co­hol may have been a fac­tor.

No other pas­sen­gers were in the ve­hi­cle.


Two peo­ple were killed in a South Val­ley crash in­volv­ing a farm­ing ve­hi­cle Fri­day night.

A trac­tor-trailer col­lided with a Cadil­lac sedan on Grangevill­e Boule­vard and 7th Av­enue east of Han­ford just be­fore 8 p.m.. Ac­cord­ing to pre­lim­i­nary CHP re­ports, the Cadil­lac ran a stop sign while trav­el­ing north on 7th Av­enue.

The driver and a pas­sen­ger in the Cadil­lac died. The driver of the trac­tor trailer had mi­nor in­juries.

The CHP closed a por­tion of Grangevill­e Boule­vard to in­ves­ti­gate the crash.

A power pole also was struck, and South­ern Cal­i­for­nia Edi­son was called to in­ves­ti­gate.

An­dre Hill

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