The two victims of a horrific crash on Highway 99 in central Bakersfield Friday have been identified as Kathy Jane McNutt, 62, of Delano, and Luther Goleman, 75, of Lemoore, according to news releases from the Kern County coroner's office.
McNutt was driving a Dodge pickup truck on southbound Highway 99 and was slowing down for congested traffic ahead of her when her vehicle was hit from behind, causing her truck to become sandwiched between two semis. Images from TV news and passersby showed the red Dodge crumpled from the impact and damaged beyond recognition.
The crash shut down Highway 99 for eight hours, snarling Friday afternoon traffic throughout central Bakersfield.
The driver of the semi that caused the accident, identified as Ram Johnson, 65, of Queens Village, N.Y., did not suffer any injuries, nor did the driver of the other semi, according to California Highway Patrol reports.
CHP Officer Robert Rodriguez said Monday that drugs and alcohol had been ruled out as contributing factors but an investigation is ongoing.
The families of McNutt and Goleman have set up GoFundMe accounts online, where Goleman is identified as Harold Goleman. The two were a couple, posts on the accounts said, and both left children and grandchildren behind.