Bakersfield, CA Water Truck And Auto Crash, Oct 1995


Bakersfield (AP) - Seven family members died when their car collided head-on with a large water truck on a rural two-lane highway, authorities said Sunday.
The driver of the truck, owned by Crop Care Applicators in Shafter, and two passengers fled the Saturday night accident in another truck owned by the agricultural firm, the California Highway Patrol said.
CHP Sgt. Russell Peterson said an official of the company later contacted authorities to say he would help locate the driver and passengers.
The crash, Peterson said, was being treated as a crime. Calls to the company Sunday went unanswered.
CHP officials identified the victims as RAMONA MEDINA, 68; JOSE MEDINA, 75; GUADALUPE MEDINA, 33; MARIA MEDINA, 29; ANGELA MEDINA, 11; MONICA MEDINA, 8; and VERONICA MEDINA, 7. All shared the same address in the San Luis Obispo County community of Nipomo, but CHP officials said they were uncertain exactly how.
Preliminary evidence at the scene indicated the driver of the truck, whose identity was not released, lost control of his vehicle and swerved into the other lane, said CHP Officer Chris Boudreaux. There was no sign alcohol was involved, he said.
The truck driver was picked up almost immediately by another worker from Crop Care Applicators, who was passing in a second truck, Boudreaux said. The second man, who took the hit-and-run suspect from the scene, was questioned by authorities but was not taken into custody.

The Press Democrat Santa Rosa California 1995-10-23