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Head-On Crash Kills Driver, Sparks 34 Acre Fire Near Whiskeytown Lake

A fire at Whiskeytown Thursday started from a head-on crash between an SUV and a big rig. Just before Noon the CHP says the driver of a Ford Explorer was heading westbound near the intersection of Highway 299 and Kennedy Memorial Drive when he drifted across into the eastbound lane into the path of the big rig, which was hauling produce. The collision ruptured a fuel tank on the big rig, accelerating the fire. The SUV driver was killed and both vehicles became engulfed in flames that spread to vegetation. The trucker, 57-year-old Darin Keddy of Oroville, was able to get out of his truck and clear of danger before the fire reached him. The highway was closed at Buenaventura for several hours, and was then subject to one way traffic control until around Midnight. Forward progress on the fire was stopped at 34 acres as it reached Kennedy Memorial Drive across the street from park headquarters.