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Fiery Crash Leaves Two Dead, Closes Highway 273

Published On: Nov 08 2012 07:16:27 AM CST
Updated On: Nov 08 2012 01:40:40 PM CST
UPS truck fire
REDDING, Calif. -

Two people were killed in a fiery crash on Highway 273 in Redding when sedan collided with a UPS truck pulling two trailers.   

Caltrans said the road would remain closed until sometime early Thursday afternoon.  Hazmat crews are cleaning up after the crash and Caltrans must inspect the road to make sure it's safe for drivers after the intense fire.

The collision happened around 2 a.m. Thursday at Highway 273 and Buenaventura Boulevard.

Both vehicles burst into flames.  People reported hearing a series of explosions as far as two miles away.

The truck had been making a left turn from northbound Highway 273 onto westbound Buenaventura.  Redding Police said the two-door Honda sedan car was traveling at a high rate of speed when it ran a red light and crashed into the passenger side of the truck.  The force of the impact caused the tractor to spin 180 degrees.

Two people inside the car were killed.  Police said the identities of the victims was not immediately known.

The truck driver, 57 year old John Abraham of Redding, suffered burns on his legs.

Redding Police said Abraham's lower extremities were engulfed in flames.  Redding Police Officer Duval had been on patrol in the area and witnessed the crash.  Officer Duval directed Abraham to the ground where the two were able to extinguish the flames on Abraham's body.  

Abraham was transported to Mercy Hospital for further care and evaluation for injuries received during the collision.  The nursing supervisor at the hospital said they expected him to be treated and released.

Officer Duval then made his way to the other vehicle which was pinned against the passenger side of the tractor.  The flames prevented the officer from getting close to the sedan.

Highway 273 will be closed for several hours while the collision is being investigated.  Highway 273 is closed to all northbound traffic at the intersection with Breslauer Way.  All southbound  traffic on Highway 273 is closed at Wyndham Lane.