The wreck happened at the intersection of Floral Avenue and Elm Avenue, northeast of Caruthers. Three people lost their lives and four others were treated for injuries.
The collision took place around 6:30 p.m. Thursday evening. Blaze Gottfried, 23, of Clovis, was traveling westbound on Floral Avenue in a 2005 Freightliner box truck when went through a stop sign without stopping at Elm Avenue and struck a Chevrolet Avalanche. Gottfried’s truck continued its path of destruction by slamming into a 1997 Chrysler Town and Country, while the first vehicle he struck, the Avalanche, spun into a Nissan Cube.
Three victims in the Chrysler died at the scene and a fourth person from the vehicle was transported to Community Regional Medical Center with major injuries. The driver of the Nissan, Jennifer Toste, 39, sustained minor injuries, as did the Nissan’s passengers Cynthia Toste, 53, and Mea Cole, 12. The driver of the Avalanche fled the scene, and police are still looking for him.
Reports indicate beer cans were strewn along the street at the scene of the accident; however, California Highway Patrol would not comment on whether or not alcohol was a factor in the deadly collision.
Information provided by National Safety Council: