Five people died in four crashes this weekend in the greater Bakersfield area Thanksgiving weekend. A spokesman with the California Highway Patrol, Bakersfield office, said this year has already had more deaths on the road than all of last year. There have been 63 this year to 60 all of last year.
CHP officers are encouraging drivers to be more respectful of the road and other drivers this holiday season.
CHP spokesman, Officer Robert Rodriguez, said, “You’re not the only one that’s out there on the roads. Remember you’re sharing the road with thousands of other people, so don’t be selfish.”
He also said, “We want you to pay attention when you’re out there on the roadways. Don’t drive under the influence of alcohol."
A 21-year-old mother and her 5 year-old-son died Friday night in a crash on hwy 99 near taft highway. Officers say 22-year-old Daniel Mejia from Redlands, California was drunk and hit a family of four who was in the center divider changing a flat tire. A mother and her five year old were killed in that crash.
Mejia is facing DUI charges.
Officer Rodriguez said if you do have an emergency on a freeway, it’s best to move as far to the right as possible to avoid accidents.
“We would rather you exit the freeway. It’s not safe to stop on the freeway, whether it’s in the center divider or it’s on the right shoulder. Never ever pull into the center divider,” said Officer Rodriguez.
Then on Saturday, a 27-year-old man died when he collided with a tractor near Arvin.
And a woman died when she rolled her car near Roberts Lane and Manor Street in Oildale Sunday morning.
A fifth person, a pedestrian, died when she was hit while crossing the street at California Avenue and Baker Street.
While Bakersfield Police officers are still investigating who was at fault in the crash, Officer Rodriguez said crossing the street, even legally, can be dangerous.
“Even when you’re in a crosswalk, we want you as a pedestrian to look both ways. Keep your head on that swivel and look for cars that may be approaching,” said Officer Rodriguez.
Officers also said if you get into a crash to stay at the scene. If you leave, even if you're not at fault, you could face charges.