Second collision on Highway 299 also kills a driver; both crashes caused fires

·2 min read

A second fatal collision happened Thursday on Highway 299 between a car and a semi-truck, the California Highway Patrol reported.

"This collision was the second fatal collision this day (Thursday) that occurred on SR-299 that involved a semi-truck being struck head-on by a vehicle crossing over into the opposing lane directly in front of the semi," the CHP said.

The highway reopened around midnight after being closed for hours due to the fire and the roadway being blocked by the vehicles.

The second crash was at 6:30 p.m. just east of Buckhorn Summit. The first crash occurred at 11:55 a.m. just east of John F. Kennedy Memorial Drive at the Whiskeytown National Recreation Area.

Both collisions started vegetation fires on the side of the highway.

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In the second crash, a man driving a white Kia four-door was killed when he was driving west and tried to pass other vehicles in the passing lane on a sharp corner, the CHP said. The man lost control and drifted across the center line into the other lane of traffic.

He hit a semi-truck and trailer driven by 44-year-old Anarbo Cisneros-Torres of Red Bluff, who was able to get out of the truck before it caught fire and the flames spread to the roadside vegetation. The truck driver suffered minor injuries and was treated at Mercy Medical Center.

RELATED: Fatal collision on Highway 299 sparks fast-growing fire at Whiskeytown

The brush fire was quickly contained to less than an acre due to fire crews being in the area due to the earlier 35-acre fire caused by the first collision.

In the first crash, a man driving an SUV west on Highway 299 crossed the center line and ran into a semi-truck and trailer being driven east by 57-year-old Darin Keddy of Oroville, the CHP said.

The driver of the SUV was killed while Keddy was able to get out of his truck before the fire started. He was not injured, the CHP said.

The two men who were killed have not yet been identified by the Shasta County Coroner's Office.

The highway was under one-way traffic controls about four hours later as firefighters continued working to extinguish the fire.

Mike Chapman is an award-winning reporter and photographer for the Record Searchlight in Redding, Calif. His newspaper career spans Yreka and Eureka in Northern California and Bellingham, Wash. Support local journalism by subscribing today.

This article originally appeared on Redding Record Searchlight: Second collision on Hwy 299 also kills a driver; both caused fires