Bakersfield man killed Saturday at Cholame Y
A Bakersfield man was killed and his passenger seriously injured in a collision in part of Highway 46 just west of the Kern-San Luis Obispo County Line that has been the scene of six deaths from car crashes in the past two months.
Robert S. Villegas of Bakersfield became the latest victim Saturday morning when the Chevrolet Impala he was was driving was struck head-on by a van driven by a Fresno woman.
Villegas, 64, died at the scene.
His passenger James Bray, 71, of Bakersfield, suffered major injuries, including a broken femur and punctured lung.
The driver of the Honda Odyssey that the California Highway Patrol said caused the crash, Haneul Kyung Lee, 61, suffered moderate injuries to her head chest and back.
The CHP reported the crash took place just before 8 a.m. at the intersection of Highway 46 and 41, commonly referred to as the "Cholame Y"
Villegas was westbound on Highway 46 approaching the intersection at approximately 50 to 55 miles per hour when Lee, driving east, failed to yield to oncoming traffic for unknown reasons and turned directly into the path of Villegas, according to the CHP.
The highway was blocked for about 3 hours by the crash.
Bray was transported by air to Sierra Vista Hospital in San Luis Obispo and Lee went to the same hospital by ground ambulance.
The San Luis Obispo Tribune reported on its website that there have been six fatal crashes at or near the Cholame Y and three in just the past two weeks.