An elderly Petaluma couple were identified as the victims who died in Thursday’s fiery collision on westbound Interstate 80 near the UC Davis campus.
Phang Phetsomphou, 76, was driving the BMW that was struck head-on by a big-rig that tore through the freeway guard rail shortly after 10:30 a.m. just west of the Old Davis Road exit. Solano County coroner’s officials identified his passenger as Bouaket Phetsomphou, 74.
The Solano California Highway Patrol reported that the driver of the big-rig, 45-year-old John Manuszak of Fresno, had choked on some food and lost consciousness just prior to the crash. His eastbound 2005 International tractor-trailer drifted to the right, then veered back to the left, striking two other vehicles before moving through the center divide and colliding with the westbound BMW.
The head-on impact caused both vehicles to burst into flames, injuring Manuszak and killing the Phetsomphous. I-80 was shut down in both directions, the westbound lanes for as long as 6 1/2 hours during the investigation and cleanup process.
CHP officials reported Friday that the collisions in the eastbound lanes injured three people, including the drivers of a BMW station wagon and a Toyota Corolla and a 10-year-old boy who was a passenger in the BMW. All three sustained minor to moderate injuries.