Merced County Fire Captain Dies in Crash on Highway 140 at Old Santa Fe Grade
GUSTINE, CA (October 2, 2019) – Two people, including a Merced County fire captain, died in a head-on crash Wednesday morning near the Gustine airport.
The firefighter was identified by Cal Fire as Fire Capt. Paul Rotondaro, 36.
The crash happened around 7:00 a.m. on Highway 140, just west of Old Santa Fe Grade.
According to the CHP, a Dodge Ram pickup truck, driven by a man in his mid-30s, was traveling west on Highway 140 behind a Ford Crown Victoria sedan.
The Dodge driver tried passing the sedan in a broken yellow line passing zone on the two-lane road. But the Dodge slammed head-on into a Ford Ranger heading east on Highway 140.
The impact caused the Dodge to overturn. The Ranger spun out and stopped in the westbound lane of traffic before catching fire.
Rotondaro, who was on-duty, was the driver of the Ford Ranger. He died at the scene. He left the Gustine Calfire Station 74 and was heading to another station when the crash occurred.
The unidentified driver of the Dodge was also killed in the crash.
Meanwhile, both the driver and passenger in the Crown Victoria suffered minor injuries.
The CHP is heading up the investigation.
We would like to extend our deepest sympathies to the families and friends of Paul Rotondaro and the other deceased. We hope they find strength and comfort as they grieve over their loss.
If you have lost a family member in a car accident in which negligence of another party was a factor, contact an experienced wrongful death attorney at the Sweet Lawyers today. For over 44 years, we have obtained justice and maximum settlement for bereaved families, and we can do the same for your family. Call us for a free consultation at (800) 674 7852.