Two People Killed in Farm Vehicle Accident in Hanford
In October 2019, a 16-year-old make and a 22-year-old-male were tragically killed when a silage truck struck them broad side in the intersection of Grangeville Boulevard and 7th Avenue. The accident happened when a Cadillac, driven by one of the deceased, ran a stop sign while traveling westbound on Grangeville Avenue and was hit in its side by the silage truck traveling on 7th Avenue.
Authorities at the scene said that both occupants of the Cadillac suffered blunt force trauma and died at the scene. The driver of the truck was taken to Adventist Medical Center in Hanford, but is expected to make a full recovery. The California Highway Patrol says the accident is still under investigation, and no charges have been filed at this time.
Farm Vehicle Accidents
The California Central Valley is home to some of the most fertile farmland in the U.S. and the city of Hanford is one of many small towns that dot the farmlands of the valley. Farmland in the region is crisscrossed by rural highways which provide passage for motorists and access to farms for farm owners and workers.
Under California law, farm vehicles have the right to be on the roads and there are few restrictions or limitations on the speed, size or weight of the vehicle. Operators are not required to have a drivers license, and there is no age requirement to operate a farm vehicle.
According to Maison Law, each year there are hundreds of accidents between motor vehicle and farming vehicles in the Central Valley, and many cause serious injury or death. There are some common types of farm vehicle and motor vehicle accidents that happen when farm vehicles venture on the highways with the motor vehicles. Some of the most common are:
- Left Turn Collisions: When a farm vehicle takes a left turn off of the highway and into a farm or driveway, the driver will often move a bit to the right before taking the turn, and a motorist will see this as a sign to pass.
- Motor Vehicle Passing Accidents: It’s legal to pass a farm vehicle, but it must be done only in passing zones noted by a single yellow broken line or an unbroken line with a broken line running alongside noting it’s ok to pass in the lane that has the broken line. Many accidents happen when motorist are not vigilant and/or try to pass in a no-passing zone.
- Rear-end: Rear-end accidents when a motorist comes up on a farming vehicle and is unable to stop in time. This often happens when a car approaches the farm vehicle intending to pass it, and then notices an oncoming car and has nowhere else to go.
- Rural Bridges: Many of the older bridges in rural areas were built decades ago and are narrower than newer bridges leaving little room to pass.