5 injured in May 31 crash
visalia – Five people, including three from Visalia, were injured in a two-car crash last week.
The crash happened at about 8 p.m. on May 31 east of Tulare. According to the California Highway Patrol (CHP), 19-year-old Lissette Mendez of Porterville was driving a 2013 Chevrolet Cruz eastbound on Avenue 224 at an unknown rate of speed. As the car approached the ‘T’ intersection at Road 152 (Bliss Lane). Mendez slammed on her brakes too close to the intersection and lost control of the vehicle.
Mendez tried to steer the car right into the southbound lane of Road 152 but instead skidded across the center line and into the northbound and oncoming traffic. Jorge Gutierrez, 45, of Visalia was driving a 2005 GMC Sierra pickup northbound on Road 152. The left front of the pickup collided into the front of the car. The impact sent the GMC onto the east shoulder and caused it to roll onto the drivers side. The Chevrolet spun out in a northwesterly direction and came to rest blocking the southbound lane.
Mendez and her passenger, 19-year-old Callie Albison of Porterville, both sustained major injuries and were transported by ambulance to Kaweah Delta Medical Center. Gutierrez and his two passengers – 25-year-old Thelma Gutierrez and 45-year-old Carmen Chavez, both of Visalia – all sustained moderate injuries and were taken to Kaweah Delta Medical Center as well. Alcohol does not appear to be a factor in the collision but the crash remains under investigation.
Police ID Visalia woman who died in May 26 crash near Hanford
The Visalia woman who died in the May 26 crash near Hanford has been identified as Serena Christiansen, 20, of Visalia.
Christiansen was driving a 2010 Chevrolet southbound on 13 ¼ Avenue when she slowed as she approached the stop sign at the intersection of Excelsior Avenue. For unknown reasons, Christiansen briefly stopped and then proceeded into the intersection directly into the path of a 1995 Freightliner tractor trailer. According to the CHP, the driver of the tractor trailer, 48-year-old James Toste of Hanford, applied the brakes but was unable to stop before colliding with the Chevrolet on the driver’s side.
Both vehicles came to rest on the south shoulder of Excelsior Avenue. Christiansen sustained fatal injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene. Toste was uninjured.
CHP officials said alcohol and drugs do not appear to be a factor in the collision but the traffic collision remains under investigation.