Five Filipinos died in a vehicular accident on the northbound lane of Highway 99 in Delano, California which is considered the most dangerous highway in the United States.
Reports note that their vehicle, a 2004 Mitsubishi Endeavor SUV, was heading northbound in the highway with an estimated speed of 70 miles per hour on the night of February 16, Saturday.
The vehicle veered off the road, missed a street sign and then crashed into a tree, causing it to burst into flames.
The victims were identified as Jalson Rubang Laguta, 46-years-old; Danilo Aquino Sanidad, 60-years-old; Arlene Osarin Laguta, 30-years-old; Jalson Laguta, five-years-old and Jarl Joseph Laguta, seven months old.
It was not the first time that Highway 99 had claimed lives.
On January 4, 2019, a pedestrian was killed on a car crash on the highway north of Chico.
The next day, a 24-year-old was killed in a head-on collision on the same highway, although it happened north of Westover Road.
On December 2018, a pickup truck on the northbound lane of the highway slammed into four vehicles, resulting in the death of two people and leaving five others injured.
Most dangerous highway in the US
A study published in 2016 noted that Highway 99—also called State Route 99—in California was ranked as the most dangerous highway in the United States.
The 684-kilometer road traverses the cities of Bakersfield, Delano, Tulare, Visalia, Kingsburg, Selma, Fresno, Madera, Merced, Turlock, Modesto, Stockton, Sacramento, Yuba and Chico.
Based on data retrieved by a private consumer research organization, the highway witnesses 62 vehicular accidents per 100 miles. Its deadliest point is located at Fresno.
Lack of lighting in the area was considered one of the greatest factors why such accidents occur.
“We looked at the number of fatal accidents that happened in dark areas, without lighting available. These highways were mostly found in the south and the west, the darkest being the SR-99 (State Route 99) in California,” the report said.
“On the 500-mile highway, every 100 miles had about 26 accidents that happened in the dark. In fact, nearly 40% of all fatal accidents on SR-99 in the last five years have occurred in the dark,” it continued.
Another factor was drunk driving, where 72 accidents occurred from 2011 to 2015 in relation to drivers being under the influence of alcohol.