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FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
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Three Fairfield residents die in Highway 12 crash

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From page A1 | January 02, 2013 | 11 Comments

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 beberling@dailyrepublic.net. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/beberlingdr.

Barry Eberling

Barry Eberling

Barry Eberling has been a reporter with the Daily Republic since 1987. He covers Solano County government, transportation, growth and the environment. He received his bachelors of art degree from the University of California, Santa Barbara and his masters degree in journalism from the University of California, Berkeley.
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Discussion | 11 comments

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  • AnonymousJanuary 02, 2013 - 8:40 am

    I would like to know how many people have to die before a divider is placed on this highway. I'm sure all will understand having to detour while this highway is updated for safety purposes. One life alone validates the divider upgrade yet along 4 lives.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • RobertaJanuary 02, 2013 - 11:52 am

    This road has seen way to many deaths. I travel this road about 6 times a year and have seen some very close calls and have come upon a very bad looking accident.It is time for the public demand that this road should have some kind of solid center divider.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • John AndersonJanuary 02, 2013 - 2:19 pm

    So young! And tragic. It matters not the reason or cause. Another way of looking at this: 4 young and local people that will not be earning and spending money...and paying taxes. Not to mention the scores ...yes, SCORES!...of other victims this road has claimed over the last decade. Imagine their total economic impact....lost. And still, the "studies" continue, the monthly meetings are held, chit-chat chatted... All we need is a dumb concrete barrier, like seen on 37.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • John AndersonJanuary 02, 2013 - 2:33 pm

    Oh, wasn't there a recent article in this paper about a multi-million dollar settlement against Caltrans ...awarded to a family of a Highway 12 victim? That's millions that Caltrans could have spent on a barrier. With that precedent set, similar future suits and settlements are likely. And why not? The road is the poster child for tossing public safety to the wind...utter negligence! Have you driven into Rio Vista from Fairfield? It is virtually a narrow rutted buckboard trail, yet is packed wih cars and giant trucks elbow to elbow, undivided. Same on Bouldin Island. And why is 12 above Rio Vista equipped with "channelizers" and even miles of concrete barrier....but across the river, it's a total free for all? Where is the logic? Where is the responsibility? Based on the settlement mentioned above, the lawyers are figuring out the answers. Maybe THAT will spur some action.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • R K SavageJanuary 02, 2013 - 5:33 pm

    One of these Victims was a Friend of mine. A good Father to his children and an all around good guy. That highway NEEDS a barrier NOW.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • icesJanuary 02, 2013 - 9:15 pm

    Lives are very fragile stop living that fast life

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • icesJanuary 02, 2013 - 9:16 pm

    Give it to God

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • zaraJanuary 02, 2013 - 6:30 pm

    Razek was a great man...he was a wonderful husband to his wife and a great father to his beautiful three young boys. he was a hardworking man who was a great provider for his entire family. he always put others before himself. there was never a dull moment around him. he would make you laugh so hard that you would have tears pouring down your face. he will truly be missed by everyone who knew him. i will always cherish the memories i have of him while we were growing up. May he rest in peace...he will always be in my prayers. i hope that this tragic incident will bring some changes to this highway. it claimed the life of our aunt in 2006. im so surprised to hear all the tragic accidents that occur on this highway and the government has done nothing to improve this highway.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Miranda OutragedJanuary 04, 2013 - 12:30 am

    My cousin by marriage & dear childhood friend was the male victim in this tragic accident. It really saddens me that Hwy 12 is still known as a "Death Alley", after all the lives it has claimed over DECADES! My father was just retelling a story, that I remember being told as a little girl. Our old next door neighbor survived a fatality. Which took the lives of her child, husband & in-law. The grief of that. An this was in the late 1970s or early 1980s. An nothing has been done to prevent that kind of history from repeating itself. Come on, now. The State of California needs to do something about this & fast. "Outraged"

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • AnjelaaJanuary 04, 2013 - 1:56 am

    My boyfriend and i were one of the first ppl on the sence moments after the accident happened. We did everything we could do to help. We stayed and said prayers for them and made sure they were not alone. We are very sorry for your losses and We send our deepest condolences to all the families.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • LarryJanuary 04, 2013 - 6:05 pm

    I was also at the scene trying to help. We came upon the scene shortly after the Toyota passed us in the oncoming traffic lane. Yes, this road needs a divider but the real problem is everyone is in such a hurry. SLOW DOWN and QUIT PASSING its not worth the few minutes you might save, instead think of the innocent lives in other vehicles you might save, as well as your loved ones who would rather you were late than DECEASED

    Reply | Report abusive comment
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