Massive 35-car pileup leaves 2 dead, 9 injured in brutal car crash

BAKERSFIELD, CA – A massive vehicle pileup in Bakersfield, California resulted in two fatalities and injured nine other individuals on Saturday morning. The incident, which occurred on Interstate 5, involved 17 passenger cars and 18 big rigs.

The collision was reported at around 7:30 a.m. in the freeway’s southbound lanes. Prompted by the accident, the California Department of Transportation announced an indefinite closure of the southbound lanes between SR-223 and Older River Road while authorities clear the scene.

California Highway Patrol’s (CHP) Buttonwillow PIO Manny Garcia stated that heavy fog might have been a contributing factor in the pileup. At the incident’s time, “all witnesses have [reported] fog visibility at approximately 100 feet,” he shared.

Incident responder, Jim Calhoun of the Kern County Fire Department, described the scene as “chaotic,” noting that the visibility was down to about 10 feet when fire crews arrived. As they worked their way through the wreckage- spanning half a mile- the responders prioritized the most severely injured victims.

Yesenia Cruz, a driver caught in the pileup, recounted stopping her vehicle in response to a crash alert on her GPS. Within moments, her car was rear-ended as the situation rapidly evolved. “Everybody just started screaming for help, just like that, and there were little kids as well crying,” Cruz described.