One of the most serious types of accidents on our roadways is a wrong-way crash. We tend to feel secure when traveling our divided highways. It can be terrifying to be driving on a divided highway and suddenly be facing a vehicle which is going the wrong direction. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) found that wrong-way crashes are 12 times more likely to end in a fatality than any other type of collision. Researchers from both agencies concluded that the top cause of wrong-way accidents is driver impairment of some form.
Impairment was the alleged cause in a recent crash in Hanford which was reported by the Hanford Sentinel last month. The California Highway Patrol (CHP) reports that the crash took place on Tuesday, March 26th at approximately 3:30 am when a man driving a Honda Civic caused a collision in the westbound lanes of State Route 198.
The wrong-way driver that caused the crash has been identified as Salvador Almanza, 38, from Porterville. A spokesperson from the CHP said that Almanza was driving eastbound in the westbound lanes when his 2016 Honda Civic collided head-on with a 2013 Honda Civic that was traveling westbound.
The westbound Honda Civic was being driven by a 29-year old man from Hanford who was unable to avoid colliding with Almanza’s vehicle. Officials have not released his identity. Both drivers were transported to Kaweah Delta Hospital for treatment. Each driver is reported to have suffered moderate injuries in the crash
Investigators have determined that Almanza was impaired by either alcohol or drugs at the time of the crash and placed him under arrest.