David Barajas, Steven Mahoney and 3 Others Injured in Fatal Crash

Five people were injured, one seriously, following a head-on traffic collision that claimed the life of a wrong-way driver on Highway 198 in Hanford early Sunday morning, according to a California Highway Patrol report.

The three-vehicle accident happened at about 1:50 a.m. on Highway 198 east of Avenue 12.

CHP officials say a 2002 Ford F-250, driven by David Barajas, 37, was heading eastbound on Highway 198 in the No. 1 lane, and behind it was a 2015 Kia Soul, driven, operated by 63-year-old Steven Mahoney, also eastbound in the No. 2 lane.

At the same time, a 2016 Toyota Corolla, operated by an unidentified 24-year-old man, was traveling westbound in the eastbound lanes of Highway 198 approaching the Ford and the Kia

The Ford was unable to avoid the Toyota and the two vehicles collided head-on. The impact caused the Ford to overturn, landing in the path of the Kia Saul and the Kia crashed into it. The Toyota caught fire just after the collision.

The 24-year-old man sustained fatal injuries and was declared dead at the scene.

Barajas was flown to a local hospital with major injuries. His two passengers were also taken to a local hospital for minor and moderate injuries.

Mahoney and his passenger were also hospitalized with minor injuries.

It was not immediately clear whether drugs and/or alcohol were a factor in the crash.

The accident remains under investigation.

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