Four dead, three injured in I-5 crash near Fresno

Locator map of crash site on I-5 near Fresno.
(Paul Duginski / Los Angeles Times)

Four people were killed and three others injured when their SUV slammed into a big rig parked on the shoulder of Interstate 5 near Fresno on Wednesday, authorities said.

California Highway Patrol officers responded to reports of a crash with injuries on southbound Interstate 5 north of California 33 about 9:27 a.m., the agency said in a news release.

Officers discovered a blue 2009 Chrysler Aspen SUV on the dirt shoulder and four female passengers ejected from the vehicle, officials said. A big rig and its trailer lay nearby, the CHP said.

Investigators determined the big rig was unoccupied and parked on the shoulder of Interstate 5 when the SUV veered to the side of the road and slammed into it, the CHP said.

The driver of the SUV, who survived the crash, was identified as Maikolo Fekitoa, 52, of Edmonds, Wash., CHP said. He was taken to a nearby hospital along with passengers Henry Cool, 37, of Auburn, Wash., and an 11-year-old girl, all with major injuries.

Three female passengers ages 43, 25 and 9 as well as a 13-year-old boy died at the scene, CHP said. Their names have not been released.


Alcohol and drugs do not appear to be involved in the crash, CHP said. It has not been determined why the SUV drove onto the shoulder.