Each week brings new truck crashes in California, a state known for its dangerous roads. The last few weeks have been no exception, with accidents around the Golden State including a crash between a semi-truck and a tour bus in Whitewater that sent 17 people on the tour bus to the hospital. Another crash in San Francisco involved a rented commercial truck slamming into a toll booth on the Golden Gate Bridge, while an out-of-control McDonald’s truck tipped in Irvine, scattering its cargo of frozen French fries over the road.
California’s frequent truck crashes serve as a reminder of the many tractor-trailer safety issues that advocates continue to push for in America, from collision avoidance technology to side underride guards and stricter driver fatigue regulations.
Officials Say Truck Rear-Ended Tour Bus in Whitewater Accident
March 17, 2018
Officials have given few details on a crash between a semi-truck and a tour bus in Whitewater that sent 17 people to the hospital, but authorities have said they believe that the semi-truck crashed into the tour bus.
The tour bus and semi-truck were traveling westbound on Interstate 10 at approximately 4:30 a.m. when the crash took place, according to Tawny Cabral, a spokesperson for the Riverside County Fire Department, who responded to the Whitewater truck crash.
It is unclear how many people were on the tour bus, but 17 passengers were sent to an area hospital with minor injuries, according to Cabral. The big rig driver sustained no injuries.
The semi-truck began leaking diesel fuel after the collision, and the leaked fuel started a fire in the semi that had to be extinguished by the Riverside County Fire Department. Emergency responders shut down two lanes of Interstate 10 while they worked to clear the wreckage, but had the roadway reopened by 9:30 a.m.
An investigation into the incident is ongoing, and officials have not said whether they will lay any charges.
Crashed Semi Serves Up Load of McDonald’s Fries in Irvine
March 25, 2018
A section of Interstate 5 in Irvine got an unexpected order of fries at 1:05 a.m. when a delivery truck traveling southbound with a cargo of frozen fries skidded off the side of the freeway.
California Highway Patrol (CHP) Sgt. Todd Kovaletz said that the driver falling asleep might have been the reason the tractor-trailer crashed.
“Our units responded and arrived on scene and located the big rig that lost an entire load of McDonald’s french fries,” Kovaletz told NBC4.
Video captured at the scene shows boxes and boxes of icy fries strewn in the vicinity of the tipped truck and loose fries scattered in the nearby grass. Because of the early hour, no other vehicles were affected by the crash, and while the impact shattered the passenger side of the windshield, the truck driver sustained no injuries.
Driver fatigue is a constant concern for truck drivers, especially while passing through busy areas like Los Angeles, and some studies estimate that as many as one out of every five truck crashes is caused by drowsy driving. The issue of driver fatigue got so bad that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration had to implement electronic logging device rules to record truck driver hours.
Commercial Rental Truck Careens into Golden Gate Toll Booth
March 22, 2018
A collision between a commercial truck and a toll booth on the Golden Gate Bridge was reminiscent of a fatal incident between a rented box truck and a toll booth on the Bay Bridge on December 2, 2017. In this latest crash, however, the toll booth was automated and unmanned, possibly preventing a life from being lost.
Officials say a commercial truck rented from Ryder collided with the crash buffer on Highway 101 as it entered the Golden Gate toll booth area at approximately 10:20 a.m. The truck then ricocheted off the buffer and into the automatically operated toll booth, according to CHP Officer Andrew Barclay.
Rainy road conditions prevailed at the time of the crash, but officials have not said whether the weather was the cause of the crash. The rented truck began leaking diesel after the crash, so emergency responders shut down the right three lanes of the roadway until the scene was cleared at approximately 1:00 p.m.
Injuries Reported in Lakeside Head-On Truck Collision
March 21, 2018
A crash between a semi-truck and a passenger vehicle in Lakeside sent one person to the hospital with moderate injuries and caused one of the northbound lanes of State Route 67 to be shut down for a time.
The Lakeside Fire Protection District gave few details on the crash, but images posted to the District’s Twitter feed showed a white sedan with a nearly destroyed front passenger side in what appears to an oncoming traffic lane.
Another Semi Driver Loses Control at Scene of Deadly 2014 Crash in Cajon Pass
March 6, 2018
A deadly 2014 truck crash at the Southbound off-ramp from the 15 Freeway to Highway 138 in San Bernardino inspired Caltrans officials to make plans to extend the off-ramp and give truck drivers more time to stop. The project, however, will not begin until 2020, and another truck accident just feet from the memorial for the 2014 crash may be a sign that waiting could be a dangerous move.
This latest accident occurred at approximately 8:00 a.m. as 34-year-old Manuel Romero was traveling southbound in a big rig hauling a load of hay and took an off-ramp for Highway 138 where he failed to stop at a stop sign and hit a 1999 GMC Yukon. Romero then slammed into barriers outside of a 76 gas station, which captured video of the crash on their surveillance camera.
Romero and a passenger became trapped inside the semi’s cab and had to be freed by firefighters before being flown for the treatment of serious, but not life-threatening, injuries.
CHP officials say they do not know why Romero failed to stop at the stop sign, but that Romero claims there was an equipment issue with the truck.
“The driver claims that he experienced some kind of brake failure and was unable to stop at the stop sign,” CHP Office Brian Alvarez told NBC4.
The June 24, 2014, crash involved a dump truck carrying 80,000 pounds of cement who ran the same stop sign as Romero. Two teens died in that crash.