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Driver killed in fiery crash in Chico's Bidwell Park

By Kelli Saam
Published On: Jan 01 2014 10:12:06 AM CST
Updated On: Jan 01 2014 04:27:17 PM CST
CHICO, Calif. -

A man was killed early Wednesday morning after his vehicle slammed into a tree and burst into flames along Chico's Bidwell Park.

The collision happened at 3:11 a.m. on Vallombrosa Avenue near Lilac Lane.  Police found a dark green Mini Cooper on fire.  Firefighters extinguished the fire, trying to get the driver out.  The driver was pronounced dead at the scene.

Police said the driver was a 27-year-old man, from Paradise.  His name was not released pending notification of his family.

Investigators said the vehicle was traveling at a high rate of speed, east on Vallombrosa Avenue.  As the vehicle passed with Lilac Lane, it left the south side of the road and struck a tree head-on. This is a residential area along Bidwell Park.

It is unknown why the vehicle left the road or if alcohol was a factor. The Chico Police Department MAIT (Major Accident Investigation Team) is leading the investigation.

Anyone who may have witnessed this collision is asked to contact the Chico Police Department at (530) 897-4900.