California, a state with a reputation for dangerous and deadly truck crashes, experienced another stretch of accidents, culminating in an April 22, 2018, collision between a Mercedes and a tow truck. Both individuals inside the Mercedes were killed in the crash.
Elsewhere in the Golden State, accidents involving commercial trucks included a pedestrian who was fatally struck on her birthday by an armored truck in a mall parking lot and a speeding truck driver who died after his semi overturned.
Few Details Known on How Union City Truck Crash Occurred
April 22, 2018
Investigators have remained quiet about the possible cause of a Union City truck crash between a Mercedes and a tow truck that left two people dead.
First reports of the crash, which occurred at Mission Boulevard and Lafayette Avenue, were received by Union City Police Dispatch at 3:03 p.m., according to a statement from the Union City Police.
Upon arriving on the scene, officers discovered that a silver Mercedes sedan and a tow truck collided and that the two occupants of the Mercedes suffered major injuries. Alameda County Fire and Paramedics arrived shortly thereafter and pronounced the car’s passenger dead. The driver of the Mercedes was still alive and was taken to Eden Medical Sutter, but ultimately died there from injuries sustained in the crash.
An investigation into the crash is ongoing, and Union City Police officials have not released the names of the individuals killed in the accident nor have they confirmed the identity of the tow truck’s driver (nor the company operating the truck). The tow truck driver has cooperated with investigators.
No potential reason for the crash has been released, and officials have not said which driver, if any, was at fault.
Officials shut down Mission Boulevard between Lexington Avenue and Tamarack Drive after the crash as they cleared the scene and conducted an investigation. The Union City Police posted an update at 8:38 p.m. PDT saying that they had reopened the area in both directions.
Big Rig Overturns in Whittier, Killing Driver
April 20, 2018
Officials believe speed caused a semi-truck to overturn in Whittier, ending the driver’s life.
California Highway Patrol (CHP) said, based on a preliminary investigation, that it appears 54-year-old Jose Escobedo Avila, an Arizona man, was driving the Freightliner at approximately 10:20 p.m. when he approached a curve in the road at a too fast speed and the vehicle overturned onto its left side. The semi then struck a guardrail and a concrete wall of the transition road from westbound 60 Freeway to 605 Freeway.
Avila was pronounced dead at the scene.
Officials closed all lanes of the transition road, and Caltrans was called in to a repair a guardrail that was damaged in the crash. CHP reported all lanes reopened as of 9:00 a.m. the next morning.
La Jolla Woman Dies After Being Struck by Armored Truck on Her 22nd Birthday
April 17, 2018
A young woman’s life was tragically cut short on her birthday in San Diego while she attempted to retrieve her dog in a mall parking lot.
Mikaela Jones, who turned 22 that day, was in the La Jolla Village Square parking lot off of Villa La Jolla Drive at approximately 5:00 p.m. with her boyfriend and her dog when, according to the San Diego Police Department, the dog got loose, and Jones ran after it. She followed the dog into the parking lot’s roadway and was struck by a Garda armored truck that was making a right turn. She was then dragged underneath the armored truck before the vehicle came to a stop.
San Diego Police Lt. Andra Brown was interviewed on the scene by OnScene TV and said that the incident was being investigated as a vehicular homicide. Later news reports from the scene say that police were then considering it a death investigation instead.
Investigators spent hours recreating the accident and analyzing details at the scene and will use surveillance video to aid in their investigation. Such video has already revealed that Jones’ hand was up in the air when the armored truck was driving toward her, but officials are unsure whether it was because she was calling her dog or whether she was waving for the vehicle to slow down.
Jones’ boyfriend, Hunter Chenier, witnessed the horrific accident, but was initially optimistic that Jones would live.
“This [Garda] truck comes around the corner kind of fast and she was worried about the dog, so she was waving her arms and then the [Garda] truck just kind of slammed her and she went under the front and back wheels,” Chenier told FOX 5. “I ran up to her and was just making sure she was talking, and she was talking, so that was a good sign.”
After being struck by the truck, Jones was transported to an area hospital, but she was pronounced dead there at approximately 6:30 p.m. Video shot at the accident scene later in the day shows a man, believed to be Chenier, knelt to the ground with his head against the pavement.
The driver of the armored truck has not been identified, but has cooperated with police. He says that he did not see Jones in front of him.