UPDATE (Sept. 19, 12:30 p.m.): The District 5 Supervisor's Office said they plan to spend $644,000 to pave the shoulder between Arvin and Lamont in hopes of making the area safer.
Through a partnership with Kern Council of Governance and Caltrans, this will be a quarter of a mile to half of a mile of pavement.
An intersection just east of Bakersfield has been the location of two out of the 49 deadly crashes in the Bakersfield CHP jurisdiction so far this year.
“This year at the intersection of Panama Lane and Comanche Drive there have been two fatal collisions and right now our total fatal collisions for the year to date is 49,” said Robert Rodriguez, Bakersfield CHP.
The CHP has been called to the intersection of Comanche Drive and East Panama Lane twice already this year for two deadly crashes causing four people to die.
One crash was just two weeks ago, where 17-year-old Johnathan Garcia was killed when crossing the street, by a car.
“17-years-old, and had a whole life ahead of him,” said Rodriguez.
The other was back in March where three people died in a DUI related crash. A pick-up truck was driving 80 mph and collided into a Mercedes killing the driver Antonio Pantoja from Arvin and passenger Theresa Chavoya. The man driving the truck, Frankie Vega, from Lamont was killed as well.
The CHP says there are no stops on Comanche Drive and cross traffic is signaled by a stop sign
“That’s why it is so important for us to promote this safety message to everyone that is out, again, drive defensively when you are out there,”
The rate of deadly crashes for the Bakersfield CHP this year so far, is 49 and it is only September.
“Unfortunately with having 49 fatal collisions to date, we are actually on track to either meet or surpass last year’s numbers.”
The CHP reminds people to stay safe while driving and remember to rely on their headlights at night and to never drink and drive.