Taft man escapes serious injury in fatal head-on

Taft Midway Driller
California Highway Patrol

A Taft man escaped serious injury in a head-on collision on Highway 43 that killed a Shafter resident, early Tuesday, the California Highway Patrol said.

The man, Juvencio Palma, 41, told officers he would seek medical treatment on his own after the 5:05 a.m. accident on the highway just south of Munzer Road.

The CHP said Palma was driving southbound on the highway at about 45 miles per hour when his vehicle drifted into the southbound lanes.

The second vehicle, driven by Maria Mondragon, 53, of Shafter , was northbound as Palma's vehicle drifted into her lane.

She swerved to the left to avoid a collision just as Palma swerved back into the northbound lanes where the two vehicles collided.

Mondragon was taken to Kern Medical for treatment.

A passenger in her car, identified only as a 48-year-old Shafter resident, was fatally injured.

The cause of the accident is still under investigation. Alcohol or drugs were not a factor in the crash, the CHP said.