RIO VISTA — Three Fairfield residents died New Year’s Eve in a two-vehicle accident on Highway 12 east of Rio Vista.
The accident claimed the lives of four people overall, with no survivors. Front-end damage to the two vehicles was consistent with a head-on collision, with the cause as of Tuesday morning still under investigation, according to the California Highway Patrol.
Two Fairfield women, ages 23 and 28, and a Fairfield man 31, were in a 2002 Hyundai heading westbound on Highway 12, with the 23-year-old driving. A 42-year-old Tracy man driving a 2012 Toyota was heading eastbound.
CHP officials said the agency won’t release the names of the victims and referred inquiries to the San Joaquin County Coroner’s Office, which didn’t return phone calls on Tuesday.
The accident happened at about 9:10 p.m. Monday in San Joaquin County east of the Sacramento County line. Emergency crews found the Hyundai resting on its roof in a ditch on the south side of the highway. CHP officers found the Toyota straddling the eastbound and westbound lanes.
CHP closed Highway 12 for about 3 1/2 hours to investigate and remove the bodies and vehicles. All of the victims were found inside the vehicles, with no ejections, according to CHP. Paramedics pronounced all of the victims dead at the scene.
It is unknown if alcohol played a role in the accident. CHP asks anyone with information about the accident to call 209-943-8600.
Highway 12 between Rio Vista and Interstate 5 is a two-lane road passing through the remote Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. The highway provides a major link between I-5 in the Central Valley and Interstate 80 in the Bay Area in Fairfield.
A group of local, regional and state transportation officials, including those from the Solano Transportation Authority, have been doing studies to address safety and traffic concerns on Highway 12, especially the stretch between Fairfield and Lodi where the accident took place.
Reach Barry Eberling at 427-6929 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/beberlingdr.