One man is dead and numerous others injured in a truck crash in Stanislaus County that might have been prevented by the use of truck collision avoidance technology. Serious and fatal truck crashes are a near daily occurrence in the state of California, and the Stanislaus crash is just one of several on the same day, with heavy rains complicating driving conditions.
Stanislaus County Truck Crash Kills Turlock Resident
January 9, 2018
The fatal truck crash occurred near the border of Stanislaus County and San Joaquin County, just before 4:30 a.m. Heavy rains led to wet roads, and northbound Interstate 5 traffic had slowed for a collision not far from the Interstate 580 junction on the freeway.
Solomon Nacua Jr., a 67-year-old Vallejo man, was traveling northbound in the area, in a 2010 Freightliner tractor-trailer, but, unlike the vehicles ahead of him, he failed to slow for the backup. Nacua instead collided with a 2012 Honda passenger vehicle in front of him driven by 32-year-old Frank Alan Hernandez, of Turlock.
Hernandez’s vehicle became trapped under the cab of Nacua’s semi, but the impact did not stop the two vehicles from continuing to move. They collided with six other vehicles before coming to a stop. One of those was another semi-truck.
Hernandez, who worked as an outside plant technician for AT&T, was killed in the Stanislaus County truck crash.
Others Injured in the I-5 Truck Accident
California Highway Patrol eventually released the names of the other people injured in the accident, as well as the names of three drivers who did not need medical attention. They did not give any statement as to Nacua’s injuries.
A total of five individuals sustained injuries requiring treatment in the Stanislaus County truck crash:
- Alma Ayala, who was driving a 2018 Toyota and was taken to Doctors Medical Center with major injuries
- Carlos Navaez, Ayala’s passenger, who was also taken to Doctors Medical Center
- Hector Hernandez, who was driving a 2017 Dodge and was treated at Doctors Medical Center
- Ruben Lara, the driver of a 2018 Chevrolet who was treated for unspecified injuries at Memorial Medical Center
- Ricardo Camacho, Lara’s passenger, who was taken to San Joaquin General Hospital
Authorities closed the freeway in the area for several hours as they secured the accident scene.
Slowed Traffic Common Factor in Semi Collisions
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has long said that truck collision avoidance technology could be vital in decreasing the number of dangerous truck accidents on America’s highways. Rob Molloy, the Director of the NTSB’s Office of Highway Safety, has gone on record saying that many semi-truck crashes the agency investigates are caused by commercial trucks that do not stop for stationary traffic ahead of them.
The agency has made 24 safety recommendations pushing for improved truck collision avoidance technology (which already exists and has been shown to save trucking companies money), but no regulations are in place. The technology would kick in, in situations like the Stanislaus County truck crash, when the driver either fails to notice stopped vehicles or is unable to respond in time to avoid traffic ahead.
Big Rig Slams into Pickup in Indio, Incident Caught on Video
January 9, 2018
A witness captured terrifying video footage of a pickup truck driving down Interstate 10 in Indio being hit from behind by a big rig. The incident occurred at approximately 7:42 a.m. during morning rush hour, and as rain fell.
The video, recorded on the dash cam of another vehicle, shows a white pickup truck traveling down the freeway with several semi-trucks driving near it. Moments later the pickup truck is rear-ended by the semi that was following it, sending the pickup careening forward and spinning it into the side of another semi in the left lane beside it. Flames are shown igniting under the smaller truck as it ricochets between two semis, with another semi in front making it so that the truck is nearly completely boxed in.
CHP has not reported any injuries from the collision or made a statement as to what caused the semi-truck driver to ram into the pickup.
5 Freeway Shut Down After Semi Falls from Overpass in Pacoima
January 9, 2018
An unidentified semi driver was transported to an area hospital after the big rig he was driving fell from the westbound 118 Freeway interchange in the Pacoima area of Los Angeles.
The incident was reported at approximately 10:00 a.m. and CHP officials have not commented on what might have caused the driver to veer from the overpass.
Damage to the overpass caused it to be shut down for repairs, while the wreckage of the semi-truck below kept the 5 Freeway closed until almost 5:00 p.m. The trailer of the semi landed crossways, blocking several lanes of the road, and the cab came to a rest on a center divider.
Big Rig Driver Dies in Los Feliz Truck Crash
January 9, 2018
Another fatal truck crash occurred on the 5 Freeway in Los Angeles the morning of the Pacoima big rig incident.
This truck accident took place at Griffith Park Drive in the northbound lanes of the 5 Freeway at 3:50 a.m. The tractor-trailer flipped onto its side for unknown reasons and the driver—an unidentified 50-year-old man—was killed.
The CHP is still investigating the crash, and traffic was brought to a standstill while they conducted their on-scene investigation. Officials have not yet revealed whether the morning’s rainy conditions were a factor.