Fatal crash update

Craig Cassidy, The Union Democrat /

At least one person is dead and another seriously injured in a head-on collision this afternoon on Highway 49 west of Sonora.

The accident happened about 3:30 p.m. north of Rawhide Road, near Poragee Lane.

A blue Toyota Tacoma pickup truck heading north on 49 swerved into the southbound lane and collided with a white Buick sedan.

The Buick burst into flames, according to witnesses. It then exploded.

One person was confirmed dead. A witness said there may have been a second person in the car.

Several neighboring reidents ran outside to help. Sue Gurney and members of her family sent down fire extinguishers and used a hose to attempt to extinguish the flames.

She said the car was filled with smoke, so it was impossible to see anyone inside.

A California Highway Patrol officer on scene said the driver of the pickup, an unidentified woman, was taken to an area hospital with major injuries. Her passenger was also taken to a hospital.

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