Two dead in car crash near Reedley

The Fresno BeeMay 12, 2014 

Two men died early Monday when the car they were in went off a country road and hit a tree near Reedley.

California Highway Patrol Officer Axel Reyes said the car, a 1998 Acura, was heading south on Buttonwillow Avenue just south of Jefferson Avenue when it went off the west side of the road, overturned and struck a tree.

The Fresno County Coroner's Office identified the men Monday afternoon as 38-year-old Joseph Blunt of Santa Clara, and George Duarte, 40, of Reedley. Reyes said Blunt was the driver. Both men were dead at the scene,and the two were reportedly pinned in the wreckage before their bodies could be removed.

The crash was reported about 5:40 a.m., but Reyes said investigators believe the incident probably happened shortly after midnight. "This was in a dark area and you wouldn't have been able to see the wreck until closer to daybreak," Reyes said.

Reyes said investigators have not yet determined a cause for the crash. "We're still putting some pieces together," he said. "We found some things at the scene that we're taking a closer look at." Reyes would not go into detail on what officers found.

The reporter can be reached at (559) 441-6319, or @tsheehan on Twitter.

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