Two multi-car traffic accidents shut down the northbound and southbound lanes of Highway 99 near Mitchell Road at Ceres on Friday night, according to the California Highway Patrol.
The CHP reported the first crash at 5:40 p.m. in the northbound lanes. The accident involved at least four vehicles and injured several occupants. Ambulance crews, including a medical helicopter, were used to evacuate the injured.
About two hours later, another accident occurred in the same area only in the southbound lanes. Four vehicles were involved and multiple injuries were reported.
Officers who were trying to clear the northbound lanes of the first accident then had to close the southbound lanes to allow emergency vehicles to reach the injured.
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A medical helicopter also had to be flown in to evacuate some of the injured from the second crash.
Details about the cause of both crashes weren’t available late Friday.
By the time the wreckage was removed from the southbound lanes and traffic was moving at 9:15 p.m., the northbound lanes — which were cleared first — were clear.