BIGGS – A 28-year-old Oroville man who was driving a reportedly stolen Honda Accord was identified as the driver killed in a Friday morning crash on Highway 99 north of Biggs.
His name has not been released.
The crash happened just before 6 a.m., just south of East Hamilton Road.
Survivors of the crash were Ryan Woodson, 36, of Auburn, who was driving a 1996 Chevrolet Suburban, and Guillermo Hernandez, 38, of Gridley, who was driving a 1998 Ford Ranger pickup.
Woodson was taken to Oroville Hospital with moderate injuries, and Hernandez was uninjured.
According to the California Highway Patrol, Hernandez was on his way to work northbound on Highway 99 at about 55 mph, and Woodson was northbound as well, on his way to go duck hunting, pulling a utility trailer loaded with an ATV, also going about 55 mph. Woodson was behind Hernandez by several car lengths.
For unknown reasons, the 1995 Honda, going southbound on Highway 99, drifted into the northbound lane.
Hernandez swerved to the right, stopping on the east shoulder to avoid an impact, but the Honda sideswiped the vehicle.
The Honda continued southbound in the northbound lane and struck Woodson’s vehicle head on.
Woodson’s trailer detached and the ATV was thrown out of the trailer into the northbound lane. Woodson’s Suburban landed in a ditch on the east side of Highway 99.
Trapped in the vehicle, the driver of the Honda suffered fatal injuries and died at the scene, according to the CHP.
Illegal drugs were allegedly located near the Honda, according to the CHP, and drug influence is believed to have played a role in the collision. The possibility of alcohol has not been ruled out, the CHP said.
Earlier Friday, the Honda had been involved in a pursuit with Chico Police Department around 1:40 a.m., but the driver was able to evade police.
Anyone with information is asked to call the CHP Oroville office, 538-2700.
Highway 99 was closed in both directions for about five hours.
This is the second fatality on that stretch of Highway 99 this week. A Corning man was killed in a crash Wednesday morning about 5 miles north of this crash.