Head-on collision kills one on Highway 46 near Cholame

A Fresno man is dead and two others are in the hospital with major injuries after a head-on collision Thursday night on a notoriously dangerous section of Highway 46.

Ivan Maqueda Gutierrez, 25, was pronounced dead at the scene with major skull and chest trauma, the California Highway Patrol said in a news release.

At about 7:10 p.m., Gutierrez was traveling westbound on Highway 46 about 100 feet west of Cholame Creek in a 2006 Chevy Cobalt when he attempted to pass a big rig truck by crossing the double yellow lines in a non-passing section of the highway. The Cobalt veered into the direction of an oncoming 1993 Volvo station wagon driven by David Allen Eastwood, 54, of Austin, Texas, and Hannah Marie Fury, 44, of Palo Alto, the CHP said.

Both cars attempted to avoid each other by swerving onto the shoulder but hit head-on.

Eastwood suffered major chest trauma, as well as a broken ankle, femur and knee. Fury also suffered major injuries, including a broken wrist and ankle, cuts to the face and chest pain. Both were taken to Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center in San Luis Obispo, but Fury was later flown to Stanford University Medical Center. Her condition was not known Friday, but Eastwood remained in serious condition in the intensive care unit, according to a Sierra Vista spokesman.

The CHP said it is not yet known if drugs or alcohol were involved in the crash and the investigation remained ongoing Friday.

The scene of the accident was west of the location where Highway 46 meets Highway 41, where Hollywood icon James Dean was killed in a crash in 1955.