Witnesses to a head-on collision near Rancho Murieta broke a vehicle’s window to rescue two children before it was engulfed in flames.
The drivers of both vehicles in the crash were unable to escape and died in the fire.
The dramatic rescue of the 10-year-old girl and 7-year-old boy occurred about 9:30 p.m. Tuesday. The California Highway Patrol said that one of the drivers was traveling in the wrong direction on Highway 16, a busy rural road where vehicles reach speeds of 60 mph and the scene of other head-on collisions over the years.
Officers said that a 38-year-old driver of a Chevrolet Suburban SUV towing a flatbed trailer loaded with a vehicle was traveling eastbound on Highway 16 east of Murieta South Parkway.
A 44-year-old driver of a Ford Fusion automobile for an unknown reason was traveling westbound in the eastbound lanes approaching the SUV. The two collided at the end of a long, sweeping curve.
A 30-year-old woman in the SUV was able to get out of the vehicle. The two children in the back seats of the SUV were rescued by witnesses who broke the window of the vehicle with debris from the wreck.
The fire spread to a grassy area on the roadway edge. The fire was extinguished by Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District crews.
The children and the woman who escaped the collision were transported to UC Davis Medical Center. Their injuries were minor.