The Labor Day weekend started with three fatal crashes on area highways within 12 hours. An as-yet-unidentified woman died Friday night when she was ejected from a Ford Expedition that was eastbound on Old Alturas Road approaching Deschutes. The SUV crossed over the opposing lane and left the road, rolling over multiple times and ejecting the driver, who had not been wearing her seatbelt.
A passenger burned to death in a car that crashed in Tehama County Saturday morning. The Toyota Camry was northbound on Interstate Five south of Corning Road when it drifted off the pavement and rode the embankment for a short distance before sideswiping a small tree and then colliding with a large tree. The car caught fire and the driver was able to get out but his passenger was trapped. Passersby stopped and tried to help the 33-year-old woman but she died as the fire quickly engulfed the car.
The third collision was between Redding and Anderson Saturday. Just before Noon on Highway 273 north of Rona Lane the 24-year-old driver of a southbound Isuzu Rodeo fell asleep at the wheel. One of his passengers woke him up and he made a series of swerves before veering across the center divide and onto the northbound side, colliding head-on with a 1999 Ford F-250 pickup truck. The Isuzu then rolled and ejected a passenger who wasn’t wearing his seatbelt, causing major injuries. The other Isuzu passenger also suffered major injuries. The Ford driver, a 26-year-old Anderson woman, was killed.