Three victims killed in crash in Fresno County ID’d. Coroner says all were friends

The three victims who died in a two-vehicle crash Friday night were identified by the Fresno County Coroner’s Office.

Mark Bruce, 57, of Fresno; Blanca Villegas Martinez, 18, of Selma and Dezirae Perez, 17, of Fresno were killed in the crash. The coroner said all three were friends.

The California Highway Patrol said the deadly crash happened at 7 p.m. at Highway 41, at Nebraska Avenue.

CHP said a Chevrolet Silverado was traveling westbound on Nebraska Avenue and for reasons yet to be determined, the vehicle failed to stop at the posted stop sign at the intersection of Highway 41 and collided with a Dodge Ram, which was traveling southbound on 41 within the number two lane.

The Dodge Ram was pulling a fifth-wheel trailer and the severity of the impact caused the trucks to leave the roadway in a southwesterly direction and down the embankment, CHP said.

Salas said the fifth-wheel trailer was destroyed and detached from the trailer’s frame.

Bruce, who was the driver of the Silverado, was wearing a seatbelt but suffered fatal injuries, CHP said.

The three passengers in the Silverado appeared to be unrestrained and were ejected, Salas said. Martinez and Perez were pronounced dead at the scene.

The third woman suffered major injuries and was airlifted to Community Regional Medical Center in critical condition.

The Dodge’s driver suffered moderate injuries and one man suffered major injuries.

A 4-year-old had complaints of pain.

All three of the Dodge’s occupants were taken to CRMC, CHP said.

Highway 41 was closed and traffic was diverted at Floral Avenue for seven hours.