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Head-on crash kills 2 in California

The California Highway Patrol says that its investigation into a fatal April 5 Mariposa County accident is ongoing and that alcohol consumption or drug use have not been ruled out. The accident claimed the life of a 56-year-old Midpines man and a 47-year-old woman from El Portal. A 48-year-old man was seriously hurt in the crash. The accident took place at about 1:15 p.m. on Highway 140 near Bull Creek.

Police say that the woman's SUV struck an oncoming minivan after straying into the path of westbound traffic in the vicinity of Briceburg Bridge. The woman had been heading eastbound on Highway 140 toward Yosemite National Park at the time of the crash. Debris from the two vehicles blocked both the eastbound and westbound lanes of Highway 140, and police diverted traffic for several hours as first responders went about their duties. The road was reopened to traffic at about 5:00 p.m.

The woman was pronounced dead at the scene by paramedics, and the man died while being transported to a hospital. A helicopter was called in to transport the injured man to a medical facility in Modesto. The 48-year-old man suffered a fractured hip in the head-on collision.

While the investigation into this accident may be continuing, this type of crash is often caused by impaired or distracted drivers. Toxicology tests may be a useful way of revealing drug or alcohol use, but proving that a driver was not concentrating on the road ahead can be more challenging. Personal injury attorneys bringing lawsuits on behalf of auto accident victims may look at cellphone data to establish that a driver was sending a text message or making a phone call at the time of a crash.

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