A number of semi-truck accidents throughout California in the last week have left disaster in their wake. The accidents—two of which were fatal—occurred in Newhall Pass, Livermore, Modesto, and Carson. While these accidents are all quite different, they do share one similarity: they all could have been avoided.
Driver Killed After Rear-End Collision with Tractor Trailer on I-5 Truck Route
Newhall Pass, California – 11/04/2015
A 20-year-old Canyon Country resident died tragically on Wednesday morning after his car rear-ended a semi-truck stopped on the Interstate 5 truck route in the Newhall Pass. The car, driven by Andro Barsoum, 20, slid under the trailer section of the semi-truck. Barsoum was pronounced dead at the scene.
The California Highway Patrol’s incident log states the accident occurred at approximately 8:30 a.m. north of State Route 14 in the northbound lanes on I-5.
Los Angeles Fire Department officials requested that California Highway Patrol (CHP) shut down the northbound truck lanes on I-5 to eastbound S.R. 14 after the crash. According to KTLA, a SigAlert was then issued around 9:15 a.m. by CHP.
Safety advocates have been arguing for years to get stronger underride guards on semi-trucks. Research conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) found that current federal laws concerning rear underrides on semi-trucks are insufficient.
While many tractor-trailers have stronger underride protection than the law requires, tests performed by IIHS show that most only protect the drivers of passenger vehicles in certain kinds of crashes.
Investigators are still looking into the cause of the crash in Newhall Pass and have yet to announce an official cause of Barsoum’s death.
Chain Reaction Semi Truck Crash Leaves Frozen Chicken Across I-580
Livermore, California – 11/02/2015
Over 30,000 frozen chickens covered Interstate 580 when a semi-truck overturned on the highway after colliding with another tractor-trailer. The California semi accident occurred on the rain-slicked westbound lanes of Interstate 580 around 2:15 a.m. near the North Greenville Road exit.
Sources say the driver of the frozen chicken truck was attempting to avoid a car that had spun out of control when the semi rear-ended another truck. The impact caused the frozen chicken truck to overturn, spilling out chickens onto the roadway. A fourth vehicle then struck the overturned semi-truck.
According to an article in the Contra Costa Times, emergency crews took the driver of the overturned frozen chicken truck to the hospital after suffering broken ribs from the crash. The driver of the passenger vehicle that collided with the overturned semi was also injured in the accident.
The semi-truck accident blocked all four westbound lanes on I-580 for about four hours, causing major traffic delays for morning commuters. California Highway Patrol officials reopened two lanes on the right side of the highway by 6:35 a.m.
The wreckage required hours of cleanup by Caltrans crews since all the frozen chicken had to be removed from the road and the semi-truck. The mess took longer to clean than expected since many of the frozen chickens were leaking water through their damaged packaging.
An investigation is ongoing.
Three Semi Trucks Involved in Accident on Highway 132
Modesto, California – 10/28/2015
In other recent California truck accident news, three semi-trucks crashed into each other on Highway 132 on Wednesday afternoon. The truck accident occurred at around 12:32 p.m. just west of Modesto at Pauline Avenue and Highway 132.
One of the semi-trucks involved in the accident overturned on the highway. Grain from the overturned semi-truck spilled across the roadway, adding to a long delay for other motorists.
The California truck accident caused severe delays on the road for motorists, which lasted several hours. The California Highway Patrol diverted traffic from both lanes away from the accident site on Highway 132, sending eastbound traffic down Pauline Avenue and westbound traffic down Grimes Avenue.
According to the Modesto Bee, firefighters extracted one of the semi-truck drivers involved in the accident. The trucker was pinned in his vehicle for almost an hour after the crash. Emergency crews reported that the driver was conscious and alert when they loaded him into an ambulance.
The cause of the crash is still under investigation.
Bicyclist Killed After Container Falls Off Truck
Carson, California – 10/27/2015
A man riding his bicycle died Tuesday in Carson after an empty container fell off a flatbed truck and crushed him. The container reportedly hit a railroad crossing bridge before pinning the 51-year-old Robert Castorena of Long Beach to the ground. The fatal accident was reported at around 5:00 p.m.
Investigators believe the incident was an accident, but they are looking into whether the truck over-exceeded any height restrictions. Any vehicle over 14 feet requires a special permit in California.
David Alva, an eyewitness to the Carson truck accident, told NBC News that when he saw the container from Tuesday’s accident tip over, he was reminded of a similar incident he witnessed just the day before. Alva said that a different container fell off a flatbed truck on Monday, though no injuries were reported in that incident.
California Truck Accident Attorney
If you or a loved one has been the victim of a California truck accident, it is in your best interest to speak with an experienced truck accident attorney to discuss your case. The California truck accident attorneys at Baum Hedlund Aristei & Goldman can help you through this difficult time and get you the justice you deserve.
Our team has litigated on behalf of our clients against some of the country’s biggest trucking companies. Give us a call today for a free case evaluation.