According to a press release from the California Highway Patrol, officers from the Williams area office received a call of a two-vehicle collision on northbound Interstate 5, near Highway 20 in Williams, at 6:30 AM on Friday.
The press release said that a 2008 Toyota Sienna carrying four people was driving northbound on I-5 when a 2015 Kenworth tractor-trailer – also traveling north on I-5 – crashed into the car “for reasons still under investigation.”
The impact caused both vehicles to come to a rest in the gore point (the triangular-shaped painted zone) between the two northbound lanes of I-5 and the off-ramp to Highway 20.
Franco Castillo, public information officer for the California Highway Patrol’s Williams Area Office, said that the Kenworth was towing a “standard, boxed-in semi-trailer.”
The driver of the Toyota, Rebecca Philpott, a 55-year-old Citrus Heights resident, was killed in the crash, as were two of the three passengers in the car: Rose Jaffe, 84, and Dale Jaffe, 62, both of Citrus Heights. The Colusa County Sheriff-Coroner’s Office confirmed the identities of the three people killed on Monday morning. Colusa County Sheriff’s Lt. Mark Contreras said that autopsies have yet to be conducted.
The third passenger, Kenneth Haines Jr., a 59-year-old Orangevale resident, was taken to Enloe Medical Center with what what were described as major injuries, including fractured ribs, collapsed lungs, and internal bleeding, the press release said. The driver of the tractor-trailer, 62-year-old El Sobrante Resident Darrel Cowan, was not injured in the crash.
The California Highway Patrol closed the northbound offramp to Highway 20 for nearly five hours as a result of the collision and the ensuing investigation, which they said is still ongoing.