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Victim ID’d in deadly Highway 99 crash in Fresno involving Caltrans truck, school bus

August 15th, 2021

A Clovis man was identified Sunday as the person killed a day earlier in a crash along Highway 99 in Fresno that also involved a Caltrans worker and an empty school bus and snarled southbound traffic for hours.

First responders extricated the 31-year-old man, identified as Felipe Garay, from a Honda Civic. He was taken to Community Regional Medical Center, where he later died, according to the California Highway Patrol.

Garay’s age originally was listed as 32, but corrected Sunday afternoon when his name was released by Tony Botti, the Fresno County Sheriff/Coroner’s Office public-information officer.

The crash happened at 8:20 a.m. CHP Public Information Officer Mike Salas confirmed just after noon Saturday that Garay had died of his injuries.

Fully marked and lighted Caltrans crews were sweeping the center median while accompanied by a CHP patrol vehicle when the Civic ran into the back of the Caltrans vehicle in the No. 1 lane, Salas said.

The Honda veered into a 2019 Freightliner big rig, which then hit a 2014 Thomas school bus with no children onboard, he said.

The crash shut down the southbound lanes of Highway 99 from Ashlan to Herndon avenues into the afternoon while investigators worked the scene.

A Caltrans employee, 42-year-old Ryan Smith of Fresno, was taken to the hospital for minor injuries to the neck, back and shoulders. The big rig driver, Gurdarshan Singh, 41, of Turlock, and bus driver, Ivy McDonald, 62, of Fresno, were not injured, according to the CHP.

Investigators said the Clovis man and all others in the crash were wearing seat belts. It’s unknown if drugs or alcohol were involved, Salas said, but it was suspected that speed was a factor.

The freeway was not fully reopened until just before 4 p.m. while a CHP multidisciplinary accident investigation team worked to investigate the crash.

“Plan on taking some alternate routes,” Salas said as the delay continued. “If you could avoid the area at all costs, please do. We do have a lot of police activity here on scene right now.”

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Millions Recovered for Auto Accident Victims

Drake Law Firm is an award-winning law firm that focuses exclusively on personal injury law. 

Backed by a team of attorneys, paralegals, and support staff with over 100 years of combined experience, we have excelled in fighting for auto accident victims, and have recovered more than $150 million in compensation for our clients.

Drake Law Firm: Provide Auto Accident Results

Founded by Attorney Benjamin Drake, Drake Law Firm has secured notable verdicts and settlements in motor vehicle accident cases across the state of California. 

Our recent auto accident results:

  • $2.5 million: driver T-boned in an intersection accident
  • $735,000 recovery: motorist side swiped by negligent driver
  • $1 million: victim of rear-end accident
  • $2.65 million: pedestrian hit by vehicle
  • $1.23 million: motorcycle rider struck by vehicle

We fight for the maximum compensation possible. To discuss your potential auto accident lawsuit and how much it may be worth, contact us to speak with a personal injury lawyer.

We Handle All Types of Auto Accidents

Drake Law Firm represents victims who suffer losses in all types of motor vehicle accidents. Whatever your accident may involve, Drake Law Firm has the experience you need. We can help with:

  • Drunk driving accidents
  • Ride-share accidents (Uber / Lyft)
  • Crashes caused by negligent or distracted drivers
  • Multi-vehicle accidents, rear-end collisions, and intersection accidents
  • Pedestrian, bicyclist, and motorcycle wrecks
  • Uninsured and underinsured motorist (UM / UIM) claims
  • Passenger injuries, including public transit and bus accidents
  • Auto defects and product liability claims
  • Construction or worksite auto accidents
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