3 Crashes Kill 3 People In Shafter

Deadly Weekend On North Kern County Roads

Three people were killed in three separate crashes in Shafter over the weekend.

The California Highway Patrol said the latest crash happened at the intersection of Merced and Palm avenues just after 3 p.m. Sunday when officers say a pickup with a trailer ran a stop sign and crashed into a compact car that had the right of way.

A passenger in the car, Ruben Solis Rojas, 64, was killed, and two people had to be airlifted to the hospital.

Mark Ralls, a friend of Rojas contacted 23ABC, and remembered Rojas as a godly man who had a great impact on the community, often sharing testimony with prisoners.

"Talk with anybody that knew Ruben and they will all have stories to tell," Ralls said in a statement. :"Stories like when he walked up to them and put his arm around their shoulder when thing were not going well and told them how he loved them, and let them know that he was there to help them if they needed anything. You knew from the depths of your heart, that he meant what he said. He was a man gifted with great compassion and tenderness. His loss to this world is a great loss. If there were more men like Ruben Rojas, this would be a better world.

There is already a cross marking a crash memorial in that intersection, and with two other fatal crashes this weekend, officers are warning people to be careful on the roads.

"Even though you don't have a stop sign and someone else does, you still need to be careful," said officer Brad Everett. "These are blind intersections, where there's trees all around, you really can't see another vehicle coming. And people tend to get complacent and don't stop at stop signs in intersections like this."

Earlier Sunday morning, a woman was killed early this morning while trying to make a u-turn across State Route 43.

Officers said that crash happened about 7:15 a.m. near Burbank Street when Donna Lynn Barnes, 48, was parked on the shoulder when she made a u-turn across the road. She was hit broadside by a semi tractor-trailer, and died at the scene. The truck driver was not hurt.

The family of Donna Barnes has set up an account with Bank of America to help pay for the funeral arrangements. The account number is 0004671459.

And Friday night another man was killed when officers said he crashed his car head on into a tree.

Officers said Guadalupe Hernandez, 59, was not wearing his seat belt when he crashed along East Lerdo Highway near Cherry avenue about 9:30 p.m. He died on the scene.

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