Three people were killed Saturday night in a three-car crash in Madera County after a man swerved into the opposite lane, the California Highway Patrol said.
The 23-year-old man was driving a Honda Civic west on Highway 145, east of Madera, and drifted into the eastbound lane, the CHP said. The driver of a GMC Canyon pickup tried to avoid colliding with the Civic and swerved south onto the shoulder, but the Civic hit the left side of it, causing it to spin out.
The Civic then collided head-on with a Honda Accord that was just behind the GMC.
The driver of the Civic, who was from Madera, was killed in the crash.
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The driver of the Accord, a 60-year-old woman, and the right rear passenger, a 60-year-old man, also died. A 62-year-old woman who was in the rear left passenger seat complained of pain to her entire body, the CHP said, and was taken to Community Regional Medical Center with major injuries. All three in the Accord were from Firebaugh.
A 55-year-old Los Banos woman who was a passenger in the GMC complained of pain but declined medical treatment.
The crash happened at about 7:48 p.m.
Although CHP officers initially stated the accident did not appear to be related to alcohol or drugs, they now say it appears it was a contributing factor.