A fiery vehicle collision on Highway 99E north of Los Molinos that left two people dead closed down both lanes of traffic around 11:17 p.m., Tuesday night. At least one lane of the highway was expected to be open by 2 a.m.

It appears a Dodge Caliber was traveling erratically and at a high rate of speed northbound on the highway when it veered into the southbound lane for unknown reasons and slammed head-on into a gold Saturn Ion near Sixth Avenue, reported California Highway Patrol Officer Ben Tawney.

The intensity of the impact caused both vehicles to catch fire and become engulfed in flames, the Saturn still in the southbound lane and the Dodge on its roof in the center of the roadway adjacent to the Saturn.

CHP Officer Jay McPeek said the crash occurred so quickly the involved vehicles had no time to break as there were no tire skid marks on the roadway, CHP said.

Firefighters from Tehama County Rural Fire Department and CalFire had to extricate both drivers from their burnt vehicles.

The names of the drivers have not been released and CHP said there were no passenger in either vehicle.

CHP is investigating the incident and said it will release more information as it becomes available.

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