A Corcoran man was one of two people killed in a fatal car accident near Lemoore last Tuesday, Nov. 2.
The car crash, which involved three vehicles, allegedly occurred after a stolen struck was recklessly driven through an intersection at 22nd Ave. and Grangeville Ave. a few miles northwest of Lemoore. In addition to the two fatalities, two other individuals were injured, including the reckless driver.
The Kings County Coroner identified one of the two fatal victims as Juan Villegas, 51, of Corcoran. He was driving a 2016 GMC pickup, traveling eastbound on Grangeville. One of the injured was driving a 2015 BMW westbound on Grangeville.
The California Highway Patrol reported it had received reports of a reckless driver near State Route 180 and Highway 41 in Fresno at about 8:15 a.m. and began a chase with the 2001 Chevrolet Silverado that had been reported stolen in Fresno.
They attempted a stop, but pursued the vehicle to the Riverdale area before discontinuing the chase due to safety reasons. The Fresno County Sheriff’s Department helicopter spotted the stolen vehicle and tracked its path by air. The truck was being driven southbound at a high rate of speed on 22nd Ave. when the driver ran a stop sign at Grangeville and struck both Villegas and the eastbound BMW.
Villegas and a passenger in the stolen truck, Joshua Duncan, 20, of Fresno, were both pronounced dead at the scene.
The driver of the BMW was airlifted to Fresno, where he was hospitalized with major injuries.
The driver of the stolen pick-up was identified at Mitchell Kaufman, 19, of Fresno. He was airlifted to Community Regional Medical Center in Fresno for treatment of moderate injuries. He is expected to face multiple felony charges.