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Tragic Highway 120 crash claims 5 lives

A fiery head-on collision in Northern California left five people dead earlier this week. Two others were injured in the Saturday evening crash, which happened in Tuolumne County on Highway 120 at approximately 5:30 p.m.

According to the California Highway Patrol, both cars involved in the collision caught fire, which spread to a nearby hillside, but emergency crews were able to quickly extinguish the blaze. No information regarding the identities of victims has been released at this time.

Aside from the five people who died, the two surviving victims were taken by helicopter to receive treatment at the hospital. Their injuries were described as severe.

The collision involved a 2012 Nissan and a 2012 Mercedes. Police do not how know the speed at which the vehicles were traveling, nor are they certain which one may have caused the collision. Both vehicles were mostly destroyed. A highway patrolman told reporters that there was not much left of either car, making it difficult to determine which had crossed over the yellow line.

The accident happened along a remote section of Highway 120, where it is simply a two-lane roadway without a median or divider. The accident caused the closure of 120 for most of Saturday night as authorities tended to the crash site.

It will be important for police to continue their investigations into the cause of this accident. The two severely injured victims may have viable claims for damages that could help them seek compensation for the costs associated with their medical care. Meanwhile, information pertaining to who caused the collision will also be helpful for families of the deceased, who may be interested in the pursuit of wrongful death claims.

Source: LA Times, "5 killed, 2 hurt in head-on crash on Northern Calif. highway," Frank Shyong, Oct. 24, 2015

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