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AVENAL — California Highway Patrol officers are still trying to figure out the circumstances that led to a crash that killed three people this weekend.

Just before 8:30 p.m. on Saturday, officers from the CHP Coalinga Area responded to a call of a traffic collision on State Route 41 south of York Avenue in rural Kings County.

During the course of the investigation, officers determined a 21-year-old man from Avenal was driving a 1997 Mitsubishi northbound on State Route 41, south of York Avenue, at an unknown speed.

At the same time, officers said a 65-year-old man from Tulare was driving a 2006 Ford southbound on State Route 41, south of York Avenue, at approximately 55 miles per hour.

CHP said the collision occurred when, for an unknown reason, the driver of the Mitsubishi crossed into the southbound lane as the Ford approached.

The driver of the Ford was unable to avoid a collision, and officials said the Mitsubishi slammed head-on into the Ford.

As a result of this collision, authorities said both passengers in the Mitsubishi — a 22-year-old man from Hanford and an unidentified male — and the passenger in the Ford — a 56-year-old woman from Tulare — died at the crash scene.

The names of the passengers are not being released pending notification of family.

Officials said the driver of the Mitsubishi sustained major injuries and was airlifted to Community Regional Medical Center in Fresno. The driver of the Ford sustained moderate injuries and was transported to Kaweah Delta Hospital in Visalia.

The conditions of both men were unavailable.

At this time, CHP officers said they have not determined whether alcohol and/or drugs were a contributing factor in the cause of this collision and it is still under investigation.

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News Reporter

News reporter for The Sentinel

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