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Coroner ID’s Victims Of Separate Crashes On Highway 299 Last Thursday

The Shasta County Coroners Office has released the names of both drivers killed in two separate head-on collisions with big rigs on Highway 299 last Thursday.

Just before Noon 69-year-old Michael Merlyn Mead of Hayfork was westbound near Kennedy Memorial Drive at Whiskeytown when his Ford Explorer crossed the center line into the path of a big rig driven by Darin Keddy of Oroville. Mead was killed, but Keddy was able to get out of his truck and clear of danger before the fire engulfed both vehicles and continued spreading, burning 35 acres.

At around 6:30PM that evening 46-year-old Christopher Merle Watson of Red Bluff was westbound a little east of the Shasta/Trinity County line at Buckhorn Summit. He was passing other vehicles in the passing lane on a sharp corner when his Kia sedan crossed the center line and smashed head-on into a big rig driven by Anarbo Cisneros-Torres of Red bluff. The trucker escaped with minor injuries but Watson died. Both crashes are still under investigation by the CHP.