Mendota, CA Two Auto Collision, Dec 1965


Exclusive to The Times.
Mendota - Nine persons are dead after a two-car, head-on crash on Highway 33 three miles north of here, Sunday.
The accident was described by the California Highway Patrol as the worst in Fresno County history.
The dead include a mother and four of her children.

Witnesses' Account.
Witnesses told the CHP the accident occurred about 2 p.m. MRS. KATALINA AGUILAR, 31, of nearby Firebaugh, was driving south, they said. She passed a car but could not get back in the southbound lane in time to avoid hitting an oncoming car driven by DERYLE LEE MAXWELL, 23, of Kerman.
MRS. AGUILAR and six of her nine passengers died in the crash.
The other six were MRS. AGUILAR'S children, BENNY, 4, PASQUALA, 9, and ROSA, 7; MRS. MAURELIA SAUCEDO, 53, of Dos Palos; MRS. SAUCEDO'S son by a previous marriage, DAVID AGUILERA, 15, of Firebaugh, and LOUIS MIRANDA, 14, of Mendota.

Ninth Victim.
The fatality list grew to nine Monday when MRS. AGUILAR'S daughter, ANNIE, 5, died in Fresno General Hospital.
Also killed when the cars hit was GLENN PAYNE, 13, of Kerman, a passenger in MAXWELL'S car.
Two other children of MRS. AGUILAR, MIKE, 16, and MAGDALENA, 12, are in the same hospital with serious injuries.
"I've been in this business for 15 years and this is the worst one I've seen yet," CHP Sgt. Al Grindstaff said.

Los Angeles Times California 1965-12-14