California is known for its busy roads and infuriating traffic, but people don’t always realize that it’s also one of the deadliest places to drive in America. Some of these injury- and fatality-causing accidents are crashes between passenger vehicles, but California is also home to frequent incidents involving semi-trucks.

It’s not uncommon for California to have numerous fatal truck crashes within one week and even one day, and the beginning of May has been no exception, with truck accidents across the state. One, a Redding truck crash that left a semi-truck driver trapped in his cab for nearly two hours, is an example of how California’s heavy traffic can contribute to these crashes, with semi-truck drivers failing to slow in time to avoid collisions. It’s one of the reasons safety advocates continue to push for improved truck safety technology, which could have a profound positive impact in the state.

Semi-Truck Rear-Ended by Another Semi While in Redding Accident Traffic

May 9, 2018
Emergency response teams worked for nearly two hours to free the driver of a semi-truck who rear-ended another semi-truck that was stopped in traffic from an earlier accident on Interstate 5 in Redding.

The incident occurred in the northbound lanes of Interstate 5 approximately one mile south of Knighton Road. An accident in that area earlier in the day had slowed traffic, and the semi-truck that was struck had stopped for that traffic. The second semi-truck was following behind at an unknown speed and did not stop in time, hitting the first semi-truck and pinning it beneath it at approximately 8:00 a.m.

First responders stopped one lane of northbound Interstate 5 traffic immediately following the accident and began to clear the wreckage and attempt to free the semi-truck driver who was stuck in his cab after rear-ending the tractor-trailer. California Highway Patrol (CHP), the Anderson Fire Department and the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection were among those who responded to the accident. Images from the scene show the blue cab of a tractor-trailer severely crushed, almost to the back of its doorway.

It took until just before 10:00 a.m. to free the semi-truck driver from the cab, at which point emergency personnel transferred the unidentified man to an area hospital for the treatment of minor to moderate injuries. A passenger was also in the semi-truck that collided with the semi in front of it, and that unidentified man was taken to hospital for unspecified treatment.

The driver of the big rig that was hit did not sustain any serious injuries. Officials have not said whether there will be charges against the driver who rear-ended the truck.

Crash Between Big Rig, Box Truck Closes Portion of I-5 in Bakersfield

May 14, 2018
Several days after the Redding truck crash and on a different section of northbound Interstate 5, another big rig was involved in a crash.

This incident took place in Kern County not far from Lebec and happened when a semi-truck that was transporting 30,000 pounds of fish jackknifed. The crash also affected a box truck carrying car batteries, though it is unclear how the box truck was involved. Neither driver showed signs of serious injuries.

CHP officials closed the three northbound lanes of Interstate 5 in the affected area after the incident, in which fuel was also spilled. Two lanes reopened at 9:30 a.m. and the final lane was open again at 10:17 a.m.

Officials have not said what caused the semi-truck to jackknife.

69-Year-Old Woman Killed in Mother’s Day Glendale Truck Crash

May 13, 2018
Authorities have confirmed the identity of an Altadena woman who died after a collision with a semi-truck on Mother’s Day in the Glendale area as 69-year-old Celeste Milby.

CHP officials say that Milby was attempting to exit the 2 Freeway using the Mountain Street offramp at around 1:50 p.m. The 2004 Acura that Milby was driving collided with a 2012 Peterbilt believed to be traveling at approximately 55 miles per hour, but authorities are uncertain as to how the accident occurred. One unnamed CHP official said Milby “made a left turn and went down the off-ramp embankment” but did not provide more details.

What is known is that the Acura connected with the left side of the Peterbilt semi-truck and that the two vehicles then crossed all lanes of traffic before hitting the center divider. The semi-truck ended up on top of the center divider while the Acura stopped within the center divider.

Milby was transported to Huntington Memorial Hospital by emergency personnel and died there from major injuries sustained in the crash. It is unclear whether the unidentified 38-year-old man who was driving the semi-truck suffered injuries.

An investigation is still underway, and anyone who witnessed the crash is asked to contact the Altadena branch of the CHP at 626-296-8100.