- Associated Press - Tuesday, June 23, 2015

CARUTHERS, Calif. (AP) - A truck crashed into a California home and set it ablaze, killing two people, including the driver, authorities said.

Michelle Willis, 55, and the as-yet unidentified male truck driver died Monday, Fresno County Deputy Coroner Kelly Matlock told The Fresno Bee (https://bit.ly/1LiMTlQ ).

Property records show Willis owns the house in Caruthers, about 15 miles south of Fresno.

Friends and neighbors told the newspaper Willis had been a secretary at Caruthers High School and had recently been promoted. The Caruthers High School website lists her as the principal’s secretary. The school was closed Tuesday.

Investigators believe the truck caught fire when fuel leaked after the crash and spread the flames to the two-story home.

Neighbors say they heard explosions after the crash and tried to rescue Willis but it was too hot.

“She says ‘Help me! Help me!’ And there was another explosion, and she says ‘I’m on fire!’” said Loni Kozera, who lives across the street. “Then there was another explosion and then silence.”

Authorities were trying to determine what caused the crash.


Information from: The Fresno Bee, https://www.fresnobee.com

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