Five fatalities reported in two Aug. 14 collisions on Hwy. 156

Both crashes occurred in San Benito County

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Four people traveling on Highway 156 Sunday evening died after their vehicle collided with a big rig truck, according to authorities.

The crash occurred about 8:05pm Aug. 14 just west of Fairview Road, says a press release from the California Highway Patrol. The four occupants of a 2014 Tesla who died in the crash were residents of Carmel Valley. Authorities have not released their names.

The crash was one of two fatal accidents that occurred on the busy highway Aug. 14 in the California Highway Patrol’s Hollister-Gilroy region. The other was a single-vehicle collision early in the morning that took the life of a 27-year-old Gilroy man, according to authorities. 

Just before the 8:05pm collision, the Tesla, driven by a 55-year-old woman, was traveling eastbound on Highway 156, west of Fairview Road in northern San Benito County, says the press release. A 2015 Freightliner, driven by a 39-year-old Madera woman, was traveling westbound on Highway 156 in the same area.

For unknown reasons, the Tesla driver “made a left turning movement” across a double yellow line into the westbound lane of Highway 156—into the path of the Freightliner, according to the CHP. The Tesla collided with the front of the big rig truck.

The collision resulted in fatal injuries to all four people who were traveling in the Tesla, authorities said.

The driver of the Freightliner was transported to Hazel Hawkins Memorial Hospital with minor injuries, says the press release.

Investigators do not yet know if alcohol or drugs were a factor in the Aug. 14 collision, police said.

Chevrolet catches fire in single-vehicle crash

At about 12:50am Aug. 14, a 27-year-old Gilroy man was driving a 2005 Chevrolet on Highway 156 in San Benito County when the vehicle ran off the road and caught on fire, says another press release from the CHP. The Chevrolet had been traveling westbound on Highway 156, east of Buena Vista Road near Hollister when the accident happened. 

For an unknown reason, the vehicle veered to the right, off the north edge of Highway 156, police said. The car collided with a private property fence, overturned and caught on fire. 

The driver was ejected from the vehicle and died of injuries suffered as a result of the crash, according to the CHP. Authorities do not know if alcohol or drugs were a factor in the collision. 

Authorities have not released the Chevrolet driver’s name. 

Any witnesses or anyone with information about these collisions can call the CHP Hollister-Gilroy Office at 408.848.2324.

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A staff member edited this provided article.

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