An Elk Grove truck crash involving two semi-trucks and two cars killed one person on March 1, 2017. Two of the vehicles involved were a truck hauling lumber and an Oldsmobile that wound up catching fire during the accident.
The incident was just one of a number of recent California truck crashes, resulting in fatalities, injuries and lane closures in varying areas of the state, highlighting the importance of ensuring truck safety on roads in California and across the U.S. Such truck crashes frequently have devastating consequences for the motorists involved.
One Man Killed in Elk Grove Truck Crash
March 1, 2017
One man was killed in a four-vehicle accident in Elk Grove on Interstate 5. The accident occurred around 8:00 p.m. north of Twin Cities Road and was caused when a car traveling northbound rear-ended a big rig. The car then crossed the median and was involved in a head-on collision with another big rig. The car and the semi then hit a fourth vehicle, which pushed the car and semi back into the northbound lanes. Following the crash, the car burst into flames.
The driver of the car was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident. Matthew Micenheimer, the 23-year-old driver of the Oldsmobile that was involved in the accident, was the only person injured in the Elk Grove truck crash, although the second semi overturned in the crash.
Luckily for Manuel Lainez, the driver of the second big rig, two good Samaritans were at the scene of the Elk Grove truck crash, and they managed to pull him to safety.
“My buddy had a hammer and a crowbar. We just started picking at the door and another truck driver pulled up. And he had a long crowbar. We started smashing the door. We looked at the driver. He seemed to be fine he was just yelling ‘Help, Help’,” said David Minchuk.
Although a language barrier prevented Lainez and Minchuk from talking, Minchuk said the look of relief on Lainez’s face said enough.
Dump Truck Hits Overpass on 101, Shutting Down Lanes
March 2, 2017
Several lanes of Highway 101 southbound in Palo Alto, California were shut down on the night of Thursday, March 2, 2017, after a dump truck whose bed had been left upright, smashed into an overpass. The lanes would remain closed through Friday morning, complicating traffic for commuters.
The dump truck accident occurred around 10:50 p.m. after the 24-year-old driver forgot to lower the dump bed and it collided with the overpass, ripping the 20-foot bed from the truck and scattering debris across the highway.
A 27-foot crack in the overpass was discovered after the impact, and Caltrans was called to evaluate the structure and whether it was safe to reopen the lanes.
Officials say drugs and alcohol were not factors in the crash, and the driver was taken to Stanford Hospital for cuts on his face that he sustained when his face hit the steering wheel during the crash.
Semi-Truck Crash in Santa Barbara Kills One
March 2, 2017
A 39-year-old man lost his life in a truck crash in Santa Barbara after he collided with the back of a semi-truck. The accident occurred late in the evening of Thursday, March 2, 2017, on Highway 101.
The driver, who was in a Prius, was following a semi-truck driven by a 71-year-old man from Paso Robles when one of the big rig’s back tires blew. The semi-truck driver attempted to move his vehicle to the shoulder, but the Prius driver slammed into the back of the truck before hitting a guardrail. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
Investigations into the crash are ongoing. Highway 101 was the scene of a truck accident in November that resulted in major injuries to two people.
Semi and Box Truck Collision Near California-Arizona Border, Kills One
February 24, 2017
Days earlier, in Yucca, Arizona, a little more than 20 miles from the California-Arizona border, a fatal accident took place on I-40.
In that truck crash, which occurred at about 2:00 a.m., a box truck driver rear-ended a big rig while both vehicles were traveling east. After being hit, the semi-truck driver called to report the accident.
The impact was enough that the box truck was stuck under the trailer of the big rig, and the driver was pronounced dead at the scene. The semi-truck driver sustained only minor injuries and was taken to the hospital.
Following the accident, both lanes of eastbound I-40 traffic were closed in the area. By 5:38 a.m., the Arizona Department of Transportation reported that one lane of traffic was open, and by 7:36 a.m. both lanes were operational.
No statements have been released about the cause of the semi and box truck crash or what kind of investigation is taking place.
Storm Causes Multiple Truck Crashes in Buellton, California
February 17, 2017
A storm that crossed through Buellton, California, north of Santa Barbara, led to multiple semi-truck accidents on Highway 101 in the area on Friday.
At 6:30 a.m., a semi-truck hit a tree on the side of the highway while traveling north. One lane of the highway was closed while workers cleared the big rig.
Later in the day, just before 9:00 a.m., another semi-truck traveling north crashed into the center divider of the highway. All northbound lanes were closed while the crash was removed.
Few Details in Fatal Visalia Truck Crash
February 15, 2017
Officials are investigating a crash between a passenger vehicle and a tractor-trailer in Visalia, California (south of Fresno) that took the life of one driver. Michael James Stevens, 22-years-old, was driving the 2005 Chevy Impala involved in the crash and died on impact.
The crash occurred around midnight on Houston Avenue between Maddox Way and Cain Street, and officials believe that the car crashed into the parked semi, becoming wedged under the big rig’s trailer. Further details, however, are minimal, and an investigation is underway. Investigators are looking into whether drugs or alcohol were factors in the crash.