Feb 16 A woman and her four children died in a
fiery collision in central California after a driver failed to
yield at a stop sign and slammed into their sports utility
vehicle, the California Highway Patrol said Sunday.
The 29-year-old woman, whose identity has not been released,
was driving a Ford SUV carrying her four children, ages 1, 3, 6,
and 11, when it was broadsided by a minivan on Saturday evening
in Fresno, the patrol said. They were pronounced dead at the
The family's vehicle was thrown across the intersection and
immediately burst into flames, according to Officer Axel Reyes,
a patrol spokesman.
The children's father, who has traveling in a different car
behind his family, suffered burns as he tried to free them.
"He didn't see the actual impact but arrived seconds later
and rushed to the burning car," Reyes said. "By that point, the
car was almost fully engulfed."
Authorities said they did not suspect the driver of the
minivan, a 41-year-old woman, was under the influence of drugs
or alcohol but "an investigation was continuing," Reyes said.
Neither car appeared to be speeding at the time of the
wreck, he said. The speed limit in the area is 55 miles per hour
(88 km per hour).
Authorities have not yet decided whether to file criminal
"It's just unfortunate," Reyes said. "We get our share of
these intersection accidents but this one just turned out worse
than the other ones. It's tragic, really."
(Editing by Ellen Wulfhorst and Amanda Kwan)