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Kettleman City Truck Accident Injures Bus Passengers, Strands Others

Yellow semi truck driving on a road

A semi-truck rear-ended a Greyhound bus, resulting in several injuries and passengers being left in the cold on the side of I-5. The Kettleman City truck accident followed two fatal truck crashes on California roads in a little over a week.

Collision Between Big Rig and Greyhound Bus Injures Four

December 29, 2016

As it traveled north on Interstate 5 in the early hours of December 29, 2016, a Greyhound bus was suddenly rear-ended by a semi-truck and pushed into an embankment. The accident occurred just north of Kettleman City, California, southwest of Fresno, around 4:40 a.m. On board the Greyhound bus were 44 passengers traveling to San Francisco.

The driver of the big rig involved in the Kettleman City truck accident reportedly lost control of his truck, which was hauling food, and rear-ended the Greyhound bus, sending it over the dirt shoulder and into an embankment, and causing his own vehicle to tip over on its side. Following the accident, four people were taken to the hospital for minor injuries, including the driver of the semi-truck, the driver of the Greyhound bus, a 27-year old female passenger, and a 6-year old girl also on board the bus.

After the crash, the remaining 42 passengers were stranded on the side of the highway in the dark and cold, as they awaited another Greyhound bus to take them to San Francisco.

In addition to the injuries, the Kettleman City truck accident resulted in approximately 20 gallons of diesel spilling onto I-5, which closed the northbound lanes of the highway in that area, delaying drivers for hours.

The California Highway Patrol immediately began investigating the truck accident but has not been able to determine what caused the driver of the big rig to rear-end the bus. The truck driver reportedly has no recollection of the crash. Investigators do believe, however, that neither drugs nor alcohol were a factor, and that it’s possible the truck driver fell asleep.

In speaking with ABC 30, Jay Adams of the California Highway Patrol emphasized that the passengers aboard were lucky.

“Investigating officer already talked with, and evaluated the driver,” Adams said. “It sounds like an unfortunate accident. Fortunately, not a lot of people were hurt in it — at this point, it’s minor.”

Semi Truck Crash on Highway 99 Kills Driver

December 21, 2016

One week prior to the Kettleman City truck accident, a 42-year-old truck driver was killed when he lost control of the milk tanker truck he was driving, and the vehicle overturned.

The driver, later identified as Armando Munguia, was traveling south on Highway 99 south of Bakersfield at around 12:30 a.m. on Wednesday, December 21, 2016, when he veered to the right and went off the road. Munguia collided with barbed wire fencing on the west shoulder but the truck continued moving south, eventually overturning. Pinned inside the vehicle, Munguia did not survive the accident.

he investigation into the fatal semi-truck accident is ongoing, but the California Highway Patrol does not believe drugs or alcohol were a factor. Munguia was driving the semi-truck as a driver for Olden Camp, a milk company. Approximately 80 to 100 gallons of diesel fuel spilled on the road in the accident.

 USPS Driver Killed in Crash Days Before Christmas

December 19, 2016

A contract driver for the U.S. Postal Service was killed six days before Christmas when the truck he was operating went off the road on southbound I-680 near El Pintado Road and crashed near Danville, east of Oakland.

According to the California Highway Patrol, the 26-year-old driver, who was a Sacramento native, was driving packages from Sacramento to San Jose when the accident occurred at about 3:30 a.m. on Monday, December 19, 2016.

Although the California Highway Patrol is uncertain what caused the semi-truck driver to go off the road, they do know he appeared to have struck an abandoned vehicle and then a freeway sign before his truck overturned onto its side, spilling much of its cargo of Christmas packages onto the road.

“A lot of what we have is based on witness statements,” Sgt. Oscar Pacheco of the  California Highway Patrol told NBC Bay Area about the investigation into the cause.

The driver was taken to the hospital for major injuries where he later died. As with the Kettleman City truck accident and the fatal crash outside of Bakersfield, neither drugs nor alcohol are believed to be a factor. Two possible factors among those that the California Highway Patrol is investigating are black ice or the driver falling asleep.

California Truck Accident Attorneys

With the freezing temperatures and icy roads come to an increased risk of fatal truck accidents. Attorneys at Baum Hedlund are committed to protecting the rights of people injured in serious truck accidents. We have represented hundreds of clients in personal injury or wrongful death lawsuits involving commercial trucks and are experienced in handling complex truck accident claims. Our California truck accident attorneys will fight to ensure our clients’ rights are protected, and they obtain the compensation they are entitled to following a devastating truck crash. 

Contact us today to discuss your legal options.


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