A 2008 Subaru occupied by a 26-year-old woman and a 1-year-old burst into flames Wednesday afternoon at dusk, just after an oncoming 2012 Infiniti crashed into it on Highway 108 outside of Twain Harte.
California Highway Patrol - Sonora Area Officer Michael Huddleston said bystanders helped the occupants out of the vehicles, but he was not sure of the degree of fire in the Subaru.
In the aftermath of the collision, a pillar of fire and smoke rose over Twain Harte, snarling traffic on Highway 108.
According to the CHP, at approximately 4:50 p.m. Patrick Vierra of Twain Harte was driving westbound down the grade of Highway 108, east of Twain Harte Drive.
The woman turned left in the direction of Twain Harte Drive and directly in the path of the Infinity.
Vierra was unable to stop in time. His vehicle crashed into the passenger side of the Subaru, shoving it in a westbound direction.
It was after the vehicle came to rest that it caught fire and then became fully engulfed in flames.
People identifying themselves as witnesses to the aftermath of the collision said on Facebook that workers for a tree service were the first on scene and smashed the windows before the vehicle became fully engulfed.
The woman and the child were safely removed from the car and treated for major injuries on scene before being transferred by ground ambulance to regional hospitals.
CHP Public Information Office Steve Machado said the names were withheld because the woman's injuries were significant enough that there was concern about her current condition, but he had not been able to contact the hospital to get an update.
He said the name would be released pending an update on her condition.
He said he did not know the relationship of the child to the driver. The child was properly restrained in the rear of the vehicle, he said.
The Infinity, occupied by Patrick Vierra and Sandra Vierra, 61, both of Twain Harte, came to rest on the shoulder of Highway 108 and Twain Harte Drive.
Patrick Vierra, who sustained moderate injuries, was transferred to Adventist Health - Sonora by ground ambulance. Sandra Vierra was also taken to Adventist Health - Sonora with major injuries.
The woman was reportedly taken to Memorial Hospital in Modesto, while the child was taken to UC Davis Medical Center in Sacramento after being taken to Adventist Health - Sonora.
Alcohol and drugs are not expected to be a factor in the collision, the CHP press release said.
Contact Giuseppe Ricapito at (209) 588-4526 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @g_ricapito