Three people were taken to the hospital after a Riverside truck accident involving a semi-truck wreaked havoc on the 215 freeway on Monday, March 6, 2017. Though there were no fatalities in that crash, there were a string of truck accidents across California in a matter of days, many of which were fatal. Such truck crashes highlight the potential dangers to other motorists on the road and the importance of safely operating large trucks.
Produce Truck Flips in Riverside Truck Accident on 215 Freeway
March 6, 2017
The Riverside truck accident occurred around 12:10 p.m., as a tractor-trailer carrying hundreds of pounds of broccoli traveled north on Interstate 215 directly west of March Air Reserve Base.
For reasons still unknown, the semi lost control, struck the center divider guardrail and flipped over onto the southbound lanes. The semi came to a stop across all three lanes on the southbound side and instantly brought traffic to a halt. As the big rig careened across the southbound lanes, it also struck four vehicles.
Following the Riverside truck accident, CAL FIRE and Riverside County Firefighters responded to the scene. The Riverside County Hazardous Materials Team and Environmental Health were also summoned to assist with an “unknown quantity of diesel fuel” that had spilled during the accident.
The driver of the big rig was pinned inside the vehicle, but emergency responders were able to extricate him and transport him by ambulance to a local hospital, where he was treated for major injuries. Two people from other vehicles involved in the Riverside truck accident were also sent to the hospital by ambulance, one with moderate injuries and one with minor injuries. An additional three people involved in the accident were treated at the scene but declined to go to the hospital.
As the more than two dozen firefighters worked to secure the scene, traffic on freeway 215 began to back up. At the height of the standstill, the lineup of vehicles stretched approximately three miles, in both south and northbound lanes (despite only one lane being closed on the north side). It wasn’t until about 4:40 p.m.—more than four hours after the crash happened—that the accident was cleared and the southbound lanes were reopened.
An investigation into the cause of the Riverside truck accident is underway. As with most truck accidents, there are a variety of factors that must be taken into account when determining the cause of a truck accident.
Cement Truck Crash Kills Driver
March 6, 2017
On the same day as the Riverside truck accident, a female truck driver was killed when the cement truck she was driving lost control and careened into the center divider.
Jessica Jackson, a 26-year-old resident of Folsom, was driving the cement truck north on I-5 between Interstate 80 and Arena Boulevard in Sacramento at approximately 12:45 p.m. when the truck crash occurred.
According to Officer Chad Hertzell, a California Highway Patrol (CHP) spokesman, the right rear tire blew immediately prior to the crash, causing Jackson to veer left and collide with the center divider guardrail. Upon impact, the truck flipped over and Jackson was ejected from the vehicle. She was pronounced dead at the scene.
While no other vehicles were involved in the cement truck crash, traffic was slowed while crews worked to clear the area and reopen the affected lanes. By approximately 4:30 p.m. all lanes had been reopened.
Fatal Head-On Semi-Truck Crash South of Merced
March 5, 2017
One day before the Riverside truck accident and the fatal cement truck accident in Sacramento, an accident between an SUV and a semi-truck left one man dead south of Merced, CA.
In that crash, which occurred on Highway 59, the SUV was traveling south near Grant Road at about 11:30 a.m. when it collided head-on with a semi-truck traveling north. Officials are uncertain both as to who was at fault and why one of the vehicles crossed the center into the other lane. Due to hail that was falling nearby when the accident occurred, officials say weather may have been a factor.
The SUV driver was killed in the accident, but the semi-truck driver was not injured. A woman and three children who were also traveling in the SUV suffered minor injuries.
Runaway Truck Takes the Life of Worker
March 4, 2017
A day prior to the head-on collision near Merced, an unusual accident involving a tree service truck turned fatal.
The truck crash took place in Bell Canyon, a gated community in eastern Ventura County, at around 3:30 p.m. The vehicle was parked on a steep section of the road and workers from the as-of-yet unnamed tree company were loading branches into the back of the truck as one worker, 36-year-old Robert Cortez, stood in the back to organize them. It was at this point that the vehicle, for unknown reasons, shifted into drive and began to roll west with no driver and Cortez still in the back. As the out-of-control tree service truck accelerated, Cortez jumped out of the back of the truck and onto the road. The truck continued on, hitting two vehicles and eventually stopping upon impact with a fire hydrant.
Cortez was taken to Northridge Hospital Medical Center and, at 5:40 p.m., pronounced dead. There were no other fatalities in the tree service truck accident, but two pedestrians who were standing beside one of the vehicles hit by the tree service truck sustained minor injuries.
Anyone with any information on the accident is asked to contact the Moorpark CHP office at 805-553-0800.
Head-On Truck Collision Kills One in Lancaster
March 7, 2017
Most recently, a man died in Lancaster after the pick-up truck he was driving collided head-on with a tractor-trailer.
According to CHP, the accident occurred at about 10:45 p.m. when Benny Serrano, a 44-year-old Palmdale resident, was driving his Ford F-150 westbound, east of Division Street. Serrano crossed the centerline and crashed head-on into a semi-truck driving east.
Serrano was thrown from the truck in the crash and landed in the roadway. He was pronounced dead at the scene.