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2 MOTORISTS KILLED, OTHERS HURT IN SEPARATE CRASHES.

Byline: Grace Lee Staff Writer

A man was killed Thursday in a fiery crash caused when his speeding Mercedes-Benz plunged off winding Kanan Road, and a woman was killed several hours later in a five-vehicle pileup involving a big-rig, authorities said.

The unidentified driver of the silver, four-door Mercedes was northbound at about 100 mph when he crossed into oncoming traffic lanes, clipping a truck and then plunging off the road near Tunnel 3, said California Highway Patrol Officer Doug Reynolds.

The truck driver swerved to left and survived with minor injuries, officials said.

``If the driver of the other vehicle had not taken evasive action, it would have been a head-on collision,'' Reynolds said.

The 8:20 a.m. crash caused a small brush fire about 500 feet below the road and was extinguished by Los Angeles County firefighters.

East of Santa Paula about 1:35 p.m., a big-rig hauling lettuce hit a Chrysler New Yorker as it backed out of a flower store on Highway 126, killing the driver of the car, officials said. The truck overturned across the highway and was hit by three other vehicles.

Truck driver Paul Mirelez, 56, of Norco, was taken to Santa Paula Memorial Hospital with moderate injuries, authorities said. The driver of a Toyota Corolla was airlifted to Ventura County Medical Center with unknown injuries.

The drivers of the two other vehicles suffered only minor injuries, officials said.

The names of the dead were not released Thursday.

CAPTION(S):

photo

Photo:

What's left of a Mercedes-Benz can be seen in some brush off Kanan Road. The driver perished in the crash, which took place Thursday morning.

Tina Burch/Staff Photographer
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Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Geographic Code:4EUGE
Date:May 9, 2003
Words:280
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