Woman dies in Hwy. 46 collision with semi truck hauling hot oil
On Sunday at approximately 3:35 p.m., a woman driving a 2012 Mazda was killed in a vehicle accident while traveling eastbound on Highway 46 East, just east of Highway 41, California Highway Patrol reports. The victim was identified as Michelle E. Saunders, a 71-year-old woman from Seaside, Calif.,
Her car drifted into the westbound lane of traffic directly in front of an oncoming 2009 Peterbuilt semi truck pulling a trailer loaded with 8,000 gallons of hot oil, the report says.
The driver of the semi truck, Eduardo Calderson, 61, of Mendota, Calif., veered to his right to avoid a collision; however, the front of the Mazda struck the semi truck. After the collision, the semi truck’s trailer filled with oil became detached and rolled down an embankment and came to rest on its side approximately 65 feet away from the roadway.
The collision caused the Mazda to spin around into the eastbound lane directly in front of a 2014 Toyota, driven by Leticia Lopez, 46, of Bakersfield. The Mazda and the Toyota collided.
The 71-year-old driver of the Mazda was pronounced dead at the scene by emergency responders.
A passenger in the semi truck, Lupe Calderon, 63, of Mendota, Calif., had a complaint of pain. Other injuries were reported as “unknown” by CHP.