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Grandson Killed, AVC President Clings to Life in a Coma

Grandson Killed, AVC President Clings to Life in a Coma

(Left): The collision happened in the intersection of Backus Road and Tehachapi Willow Springs Road. The impact caused both vehicles to travel into a dirt field, where the dump truck overturned. (Right): Dr. Jackie Fisher, President Antelope Valley Junior College

By Peggy Hunt

My friend, Antelope Valley College (AVC) President Dr. Jackie Fisher, 62, is in intensive care in a coma fighting for his life, along with his wife Carla, 58, who is in serious condition after a deadly crash. Also in the car were their two grandchildren, 6-year-old Nickolas Smith who was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident, and 10-year-old Niana who was seated on the passenger side of the car. She suffered minor injuries.

The family was traveling in their blue 2007 Lexus southeast of Tehachapi late Sunday afternoon when their car was broadsided by a 1989 white Kenworth dump truck. The truck failed to stop for a posted stop sign, crossed into the intersection and collided with the Fishers’ vehicle. The accident happened around 5:30 p.m. Sunday at the intersection of Backus Road and Tehachapi Willow Springs Road, according to a California Highway Patrol report.

The impact caused both vehicles to careen into a dirt field, where the dump truck overturned. The truck’s driver, 58-year-old Barry Queen of Littlerock, suffered moderate injuries and was transported to Antelope Valley Hospital for treatment.

The impact was so severe that firefighters arriving on the scene had to use the Jaws of Life to cut the top and sides off the car to get the Fishers out. Jackie was airlifted to Antelope Valley Hospital; Carla and their granddaughter were taken by ambulance.

Jackie took the back road to take 30 minutes off his drive time back to Lancaster. He wanted to avoid the Grapevine. The Fishers were returning home from Bakersfield after picking up their grandchildren.

Prior to his academic career, Fisher was a Kern County firefighter and he taught fire technology at Bakersfield College for 11 years.

He later earned his master’s degree from California State University, Bakersfield.

Update: Jackie remains in a medically induced coma; Carla has had a second stroke and is paralyzed down the left side of her body; and Niana is up and walking around.

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