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CHP releases new details about fatal Highway 46 crash near Shandon

Scene of deadly 5-vehicle crash on Highway 46 East near Shandon

One person was killed Friday, March 31, 2017, in a five-vehicle crash near Shandon that left an overturned semi-truck stretched on its side across Highway 46 East, according to the California Highway Patrol.
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One person was killed Friday, March 31, 2017, in a five-vehicle crash near Shandon that left an overturned semi-truck stretched on its side across Highway 46 East, according to the California Highway Patrol.

New details have been released about about the fatal five-vehicle accident near Shandon on Friday on Highway 46 East.

According to a California Highway Patrol news release, the driver of a semi-truck was traveling 55 to 65 mph when the truck drifted onto the right shoulder of Highway 46 heading east about 2:15 p.m. When the driver, Charles S. Celaya, of Cheyenne, Wyoming, attempted to direct the big rig back to the road on a right-hand curve, he crossed the center divider and clipped a 2001 Dodge Dakota, police said.

The big rig then collided head-on with a westbound 2014 GMC Sierra, causing major damage to both vehicles, police said. The semi-truck, swerving left and right, tipped on its side and spilled its contents, mushy grain that it was hauling from Firestone Walker Brewing Co. in Paso Robles.

The driver of the GMC died from blunt force trauma, police said. His name has not been released, pending notification of his family.

Authorities said the man driving the Dodge — Alfaro Rafael Mendoza, 49, of Salinas — crashed into a 2016 Ford F-150, driven by Jeffrey Wayne Fisher, and a 2013 Honda Odyssey, driven by Brian Garard Kelly. Kelly, 61, of Buellton, received minor injuries to his left arm. Mendoza and Fisher, 53, of Bodfish, were not injured.

Police do not believe drugs or alcohol were a factor in the crash.

Megan Henney: 805-781-7915, @megan_henney

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