Fatal truck accidents have become frighteningly frequent in California, with news headlines often monopolized by reports of the latest crashes and deaths. The first week of August provided no respite for the state, with multiple fatal truck crashes and resulting road closures, including a truck crash in Benicia that killed an Airman on her way to Travis Air Force Base.
Speed Believed to Be a Factor in Truck Accident on Benicia Bridge
August 4, 2017
Twenty-two-year-old Patricia Roy, a Concord resident, was traveling northbound on Interstate Highway 680, not far from the Interstate 780 split, in the early morning hours of Friday, August 4, 2017 when the truck accident occurred. Roy, who has since been identified as an Airman assigned to Travis Airforce Base, was crossing the Benicia Bridge in the right-most lane when her black Honda sedan collided with the back of a semi-truck in the same lane. The collision sent the sedan across all three lanes of the road before it struck a concrete wall and came to a stop.
The accident was first reported at 6:05 a.m. and the Solano County Coroner’s office says that Roy was pronounced dead at the scene at 6:21 a.m. No injuries were reported for the semi-truck driver, who was identified only as a male and a resident of Modesto. It is believed that Roy was on her way to Travis Airforce Base at the time of the Benicia truck crash.
An initial investigation into the fatal truck crash has led the California Highway Patrol (CHP) to conclude that while speed was a factor in the crash, drugs and alcohol were not. Officials do not believe that Roy was wearing a seatbelt when the crash occurred.
Highway 99 in McFarland Shut Down After Semi-Truck Crash
August 6, 2017
The same weekend as the truck crash in Benicia, a collision between two semi-trucks in McFarland resulted in injuries and lengthy road closures.
One of the semi-trucks was attempting an unsafe lane change, according to CHP, and swerved across lanes of traffic before the crash. Both of the semi-trucks involved were transporting water, and the two truck drivers were taken to Delano Medical Center with minor injuries.
The crash, which happened on Highway 99 near Elmo Highway, was reported around 8:30 a.m., and by 9:00 a.m. CHP had shut down all four southbound lanes of Highway 99 as they worked to clear the accident scene.
Family Injured After Being Rear-Ended by Semi-Truck in Adelanto
August 5, 2017
Three children and an adult were taken to an area hospital after the white 2005 Toyota Corolla they were traveling in was struck from behind by a semi-truck while they were stopped at a red light.
The crash occurred at the intersection of US Highway 395 and Chamberlain Way around 2:15 p.m. as the Corolla, which had been traveling northbound, was waiting at a red light to turn left onto Chamberlain Way. A semi-truck traveling in the same direction failed to slow for the red light and slammed into the back of the Corolla, according to a witness. Images from the accident scene show the rear and right side of the passenger vehicle mangled and crumpled.
Jermaine Wright Sr., the Adelanto Mayor Pro Tem, was driving west on Chamberlain Way and witnessed the accident.
“The semi swerved just a little bit,” Wright said in an interview with Victor Valley News. “And his back trailer tires took out the back of the car.”
Officials believe it was a family traveling in the Corolla, with three children in the backseat (where the vehicle took the brunt of the impact). All three children and an unidentified adult passenger sustained injuries that required attention at a local hospital, but the unidentified male driver of the Corolla did not seek medical assistance. The semi-truck driver also declined treatment.
Lucerne Valley Head-On Collision with Big Rig Kills One
August 2, 2017
Two days before the Benicia truck crash, a collision between a Robertson’s Transport Ready Mix truck and a pickup truck left a 21-year-old man dead.
The crash occurred at approximately 6:47 a.m. on Highway 18 near Camp Rock Road. The CHP believes the driver of the pickup truck, which was a 2002 Chevy Silverado, had veered south on the highway before trying to correct his course.
“The driver turned hard to the left and re-entered the roadway going back across lanes,” CHP Officer Mike Mumford said of the crash. “The big rig driver tried to slow down, brake, turned to the left and ended up colliding into the driver side of the Silverado.”
No injuries were reported for the semi-truck driver, and the unidentified 21-year-old male driving the Silverado was pronounced dead at the scene, with San Bernardino County Fire being summoned to extricate the man from the nearly destroyed vehicle.
An investigation into the cause of the truck crash is ongoing.
One Fatality in Head-On Semi Crash Near Cholame
July 31, 2017
Just days prior to the fatal head-on collision in Lucerne Valley, another head-on incident between a semi-truck and an Acura Integra resulted in one fatality. That crash occurred not far from the intersection of Highway 41 and Highway 46 near the Cholame ‘Y’.
Few details have been given on the truck crash, but the CHP says that it was the driver of the Acura Integra, which had Arizona license plates, who died in the crash, and that they believe the truck accident was caused by an unsafe pass attempted by that driver.
The Acura caught on fire after the crash and witnesses were able to pull the driver from the vehicle, although to no avail. The semi-truck also caught fire following the crash, but the truck driver did not sustain injuries.