The onslaught of deadly truck crashes continues in California, with several new fatal crashes in the state, including an incident involving a semi-truck that left an engaged couple, merely weeks from their wedding, dead. Accidents involving big rigs are often fatal to those in passenger vehicles, even if minimal harm is sustained to the truck.
Truck Crash Takes the Lives of Couple About to Marry
July 7, 2017
A tragic accident near Mojave left an engaged couple dead just weeks before their planned wedding.
The tragic truck crash took place on eastbound State Route 58, not far from the intersection of Highway 395, at approximately 2:10 p.m. on Friday, July 7. Thirty-three-year-old Matthew Thomas Woodall and his fiancée, 31-year-old Nicolett Elaine Conley, were riding in the backseat of a silver Toyota Camry when the vehicle was hit from behind by a Kenworth tractor-trailer. The Camry was then pushed into a white Toyota Tacoma in front of it.
Emergency personnel pronounced Woodall and Thomas dead on the scene. The Camry’s driver was taken to Victor Valley Global Medical Center for the treatment of unidentified injuries, and a front-seat passenger in the Camry was airlifted to Antelope Valley Hospital, also for unidentified injuries. No updates have been given on the condition of the driver or the front seat passenger since the truck accident.
California Highway Patrol (CHP) officers stated that the Tacoma had been overturned during the accident, but no injuries were reported to the driver or occupants of that vehicle, and no injuries have been reported for the semi-truck driver who rear-ended the Camry.
Woodall and Thomas were set to marry on July 27, 2017, less than three weeks from the date of the fatal Kramer Junction truck crash. Woodall’s mother, Terri Brown, describes the engaged couple as being “so in love” and “inseparable.” In an interview with KGET 12, Brown relayed her gratitude that the pair died together and also her grief.
“This just isn’t supposed to happen,” a tearful Brown said. “You aren’t supposed to lose your child.”
Images from the truck crash show the Camry and Tacoma badly damaged almost beyond recognition, while the semi-truck appears to have sustained only minimal damage to its front bumper.
A California Highway Patrol investigation into the Kramer Junction truck crash is ongoing, but officials believe that the semi failed to slow or stop for slowed traffic and that alcohol and drugs were not factors.
Woodall and Thomas had a 5-year-old daughter, who was not in the car at the time of the crash.
Fiery Crash on I-5 in San Diego in Results in Fatality, Medically-Induced Coma
July 8, 2017
The day after the truck crash in Kramer Junction, a Porsche traveling the wrong way on Interstate 5 near 32nd Street in San Diego crashed into a tow truck, causing both vehicles to catch fire.
California Highway Patrol had answered multiple phone calls about the wrong-way sports car driver minutes before the crash, which took place at approximately 12:10 a.m. The tow truck was traveling northbound and the Porsche traveling southbound when they collided.
Both vehicles caught fire following the crash. Officials believe that the driver of the Porsche, 42-year-old Marc Le Friant, died of multiple blunt-force injuries during the crash.
The tow truck driver, Aaron Palacios, whose age was not given, caught fire as he escaped his vehicle, but still ran to the Le Friant to see if he could assist him. Palacios could not, and ran farther from the scene to safety. He was taken to UC San Diego Medical Center for treatment for severe traumatic injuries and burns to approximately 50 percent of his body.
Palacios has since been put in a medically-induced coma, where he could remain for the coming weeks and possibly even months. Le Friant’s parents visited Palacios to thank him for his attempt to save their son.
The wrong-way crash is still under investigation, but a friend of Le Friant’s says that he loved Porsche racing. Speed will be investigated as a factor.
Speeding Driver Dies in Collision with Semi Near San Diego
July 9, 2017
Two days after the Kramer Junction crash and only a day after the fiery wrong-way collision in San Diego, a 20-year-old woman was killed in Alpine, outside of San Diego, adding to the long list of truck accidents for the state this month.
The accident took place about 11:00 a.m. on Sunday morning as the unnamed Alpine resident traveled east on Interstate 8 near Tavern Road in a black 1996 BMW. California Highway Patrol officials say that the woman was traveling at speeds between 90 and 100 miles per hour.
The semi-truck was also traveling east, in the far-right lane, and was only moving at about 30 miles per hour, with its emergency flashers on. Officials believe the BMW driver attempted to pass the big rig but instead slammed into the back of the truck and then crashed into the ditch.
“She basically ran into the back of the semi,” California Highway Patrol Officer Ben Demarest said. “She just drove right up on him. Speed was definitely a factor.”
Officials pronounced the BMW driver dead at the scene and interviewed the semi-truck driver before releasing him.