Recent Crashes Put Spotlight on Stretch of I-80 in Fairfield

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FAIRFIELD -- There have been three recent incidents along one stretch of Interstate 80.

On Aug. 10, a car plowed into and killed CHP Officer Kirk Griess and Jaime Manuel. Then, on Aug. 21, three Caltrans workers were hit by a car and injured.

Just recently, on Saturday, there was a fiery car crash.

"It's just people not paying attention," said Fairfield resident James Howard.

They all happened on westbound I-80 near the Manuel Campos Parkway exit in Fairfield.

"Is it a mix of things? Is it just distracted driving? Is there something wrong with the road there?" said Fairfield City Councilwoman Catherine Perez Moy.

The CHP says distracted driving played a role in the crash on Aug. 10 and the same is suspected in the Aug. 21 crash.

Officer David Harvey says the location of the crashes is a coincidence. He chalks it up to driver error.

Longtime Fairfield residents James and Susan Howard live near the exit. They say they've seen it themselves.

"There was a lady texting on her phone and almost ran off the road at Manuel Campos," James Howard said.

Caltrans tells FOX40 there's nothing extraordinary about the section. It's simply a straight stretch of highway and there's no data to support the highway is to blame.

But Moy wants all possibilities considered.

"You can't just say, 'Oh it's distracted driving,' if you haven't looked at it," Moy said.

She's holding a meeting with city officials Wednesday to discuss the roadway and come up with solutions.

"Look at it, investigate. And if there isn't a cure and if the cure is just educating people about distracting driving that's what we do more of," Moy said.

The CHP has actually launched a distracting driving campaign called the I-80 challenge.

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