Another Highway 395 collision leaves one dead

By BRIAN COSNER

News Review Staff Writer

A two-vehicle collision on Highway 395 left one dead and others injured last month. The accident happened roughy one mile south of Kramer Junction on the evening of Dec. 21.

According to a release from the California Highway Patrol, a gray Buick sedan carrying four passengers southbound on the highway crossed over a double yellow line in a no-passing zone in an attempt to pass slower traffic. The Buick then collided with a northbound Mercedes SUV occupied by three from Irvine, Calif.

Both drivers reportedly attempted to swerve left, but the front end of the Mercedes collided with the right rear of the Buick, overturning the sedan off the road. A passenger, Javier Calleja, 22, of Westminster, Calif., was ejected from the vehicle and succumbed to blunt force trauma injuries at the scene.

According to the report, the driver and remaining passengers of the Buick sustained minor injuries. The driver and seven-year-old passenger of the Mercedes sustained minor injuries while another passenger suffered a possible broken leg. According to the release, all parties were wearing their seatbelts.

Fatalities on the 90-mile stretch of thoroughfare from Inyokern to Adelanto became all too familiar last year, with nearly two dozen deaths – some of them local residents.

Phase I of San Bernardino County Transportation Authority’s U.S. 395 widening project began last summer and is estimated to be completed in 2021. However, that phase addresses only the highway between State Route 18 in Victorville and Chamberlaine Way in Adelanto. Future phases have been discussed, but details and funding remain unclear.

Locals have rallied behind the “Save Lives on 395” Facebook page headed up by local resident Ryan Smith. Members aim to spread awareness of Highway 395’s dangers and advocate for government funding to widen the two-lane portions of the highway. For more information visit facebook.com/pg/SaveLivesOn395.

The News Review will continue its coverage of the dangers of driving on the 395 in coming editions.

Story First Published: 2019-01-04