UPDATE: KCSO identifies three killed in Hwy. 178 collision at Isabella Lake

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UPDATE (May 13): The Kern County Sheriff’s Office has identified the three people killed in yesterday’s collision.

The people were identified as 84-year-old Henry Milton Liebel and 78-year-old Sandra Merle Liebel. The third fatality was identified as 34-year-old Elissa Renee Pappas.

UPDATE (May 12): Three people were killed in yesterday’s collision on Highway 178 near Yankee Canyon Drive.

The California Highway Patrol said a woman was driving a 1998 Ford Escort westbound on the 178 east of Yankee Canyon while a man was driving a 2002 Toyota Tacoma eastbound Highway 178. The department said the woman entered a left-hand curve in the roadway for westbound traffic and, due to her unsafe speed, lost control of the Ford.

This caused the Ford to travel from the westbound lane into the eastbound lane, where it collided into the Toyota head on, the department said. Due to the injuries sustained during the collision, the driver of the Ford died from fatal injuries at the scene.

A woman who was the front passenger in the Toyota also suffered severe injuries and died at the scene. The male driver of the Toyota was transported to a local hospital but ultimately died from his injuries, according to the CHP

This collision is still under investigation.

UPDATE: The highway was no longer listed as closed as of 10:40 p.m.

The fire had grown to about 12 acres and was 50 percent contained as of late Monday, Kern County firefighters said. The forward progress of the blaze was halted, and firefighters from the Bureau o Land Management and U.S. Forest Service will stay through the night to extinguish hotspots and strengthen containment.

Grasses are already very dry, and firefighters are reminding Kern residents to maintain defense space around their home. June 1 is the deadline for clearing hazardous vegetation.

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — Two crashes — one of them deadly — and an ensuing large brush fire closed Highway 178 in both directions by Isabella Lake, authorities said.

The first crash occurred Monday at about 2:53 p.m. near Yankee Canyon Drive, according to the California Highway Patrol. A tan pickup collided with a Ford Taurus, and at least one person died.

The second incident happened near the same location around 4:30 p.m. when a vehicle went off the roadway and ignited brush, officers said. The roadway was then closed in both directions.

Kern County firefighters are on scene and a helicopter is dropping water on the blaze.

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