The driver of a Ford Explorer was killed Monday morning when he veered across Highway 180 near Fowler Avenue in Fresno and collided head-on with a big rig, the California Highway Patrol reported. A Fresno County sheriff’s deputy rescued the Explorer driver from the burning car, but the victim died at Community Regional Medical Center.
The crash occurred about 9 a.m. as the driver of the black Ford, which was eastbound, drove into oncoming traffic and slammed into the big rig, said CHP spokesman Victor Taylor. Westbound Highway 180 was closed for about four hours while the CHP investigated the crash. The identity of the 47-year-old Explorer driver, who was from Visalia, was being withheld until family could be notified.
Sheriff’s spokesman Tony Botti said the deputy, who works in the Fresno County Courthouse, was driving to work westbound on 180 behind the big rig. He saw the Explorer cross over into westbound lanes and collide with the semi. The deputy ran to the Explorer and cut the driver from the seat belt as the vehicle caught fire. He started CPR on the victim, turning over rescue efforts to arriving paramedics.