RIDGECREST – A 25-year-old driver was killed Wednesday after he tried to pass three vehicles and crashed head-on into a pickup truck in the Ridgecrest area, authorities said.
Kendall Cade Evans of Lancaster died at the scene of the collision, which occurred around 1 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 12, on Highway 395 south of China Lake Boulevard, according to the Kern County coroner’s office.
Evans was in a 2014 Kia Optima headed southbound on Highway 395 when he drove the vehicle across solid double yellow lines “into the northbound lane in an attempt to pass two passenger vehicles and a tractor trailer already in the southbound lane,” a California Highway Patrol report states.
Evans drove directly into the path of a 2013 Ford F-350, which resulted in a head-on collision, according to the CHP report.
“This impact caused the Ford to overturn into the open desert area an undetermined number of times before coming to rest on its roof… The Kia was pushed in reverse on the east shoulder partially blocking the northbound lane,” the CHP report states.
There were two occupants in the Ford F-350, a 56-year-old driver and 63-year-old passenger, both from Bakersfield. They were transported to Ridgecrest Regional Hospital with major injuries, according to the CHP.
Evans was pronounced dead by paramedics at the scene around 1:30 p.m., according to the Kern County coroner’s office.
“Drug or alcohol impairment is not considered to be a factor in this collision at this time,” the CHP report states.
The incident remains under investigation.