Two women are dead after another fatal truck crash in California. This latest crash came after a semi-truck swerved through three lanes and slammed through a cement barrier, ultimately colliding with two passenger vehicles. The truck driver is currently being investigated for her role in the crash. Unfortunately, fatal crashes involving big rigs are common in the southern California region.
Two Killed, Six Injured in Truck Crash
A fatal semi-truck crash that saw a big rig careening out of control for unknown reasons is now under investigation by California Highway Patrol (CHP). The truck accident occurred at approximately 2:30 p.m. on Wednesday, August 2, 2017, on State Route 125 in Temecula. Officials believe that the semi-truck, which was operated by an unidentified female driver, was maneuvering from eastbound I-8 to southbound State Route 125 when the crash happened.
According to CHP Officer Kevin Pearlman, it was as the semi-truck driver made the move to State Route 125 that she lost control of the vehicle for unknown reasons. The semi smashed through a metal guard rail, crossed three lanes of traffic and broke through a concrete barrier before it collided with a green Chevrolet Aveo and a black Kia Sorrento. Traffic was backed up for hours following the fatal crash, as crews worked to secure and investigate the scene.
Officials Investigating Big Rig Driver Involved in Crash
An investigation into the truck driver, who had a male passenger asleep in the vehicle with her, is already underway. Both the truck driver and her passenger were taken to a trauma center with moderately serious injuries.
“One of our investigating officers is at the hospital, once [the] driver involved is evaluated by medical personnel, he’s going to conduct [a] full DUI evaluation on the driver to make sure drugs or alcohol were not involved,” Officer Pearlman said following the truck crash in La Mesa.
A logo on the side of the semi-truck involved identified the big rig as being associated with Swift Transportation. Cozette Phifer, the Vice President of Marketing and Communications at Swift confirmed that they are looking into the crash.
“Our safety team is investigating everything as thoroughly and as quickly as they can and I’m told we will have someone on the scene as soon as possible,” Phifer said to NBC 7 via e-mail. “Our entire company is heartbroken whenever there is any kind of accident involving one of our drivers.”
Fatalities in Chevy Hit by Semi-Truck
Both of the fatalities in the La Mesa truck crash were occupants of the Chevrolet Aveo. Fifty-seven-year-old Nancy Jeanette Bauerlain was driving the Aveo. The medical examiner’s office has confirmed that she suffered traumatic injuries in the crash and was pronounced dead at the scene. A female passenger in the Aveo was taken to a nearby hospital where she was also pronounced dead. Images from the accident scene show the Aveo badly damaged with its rear window smashed out.
Officials have not confirmed the identity of the female passenger, but Timothy Thompson, the son of Nancy Jeanette Bauerlain, said in an interview that the deceased passenger was Bauerlain’s daughter—and his sister—29-year-old Jennifer Thompson-Campbell. Thompson-Campbell would have turned 30 in a week.
Information on Bauerlain’s Facebook page indicates that she was employed by the Department of Defense and that she had gone to San Diego State University. She had five children and 10 grandchildren. Thompson-Campbell had two children.
Four Injured in Passenger Car Struck by Out-of-Control 18-Wheeler
The occupants of the Kia Sorrento that was hit by both the semi-truck and the Chevrolet Aveo were a mother, two daughters and their grandmother. According to the mother, they were on their way to lunch when the truck accident happened.
Aneta Andarus was driving the Kia, with her mother in the front passenger seat. Andarus’ daughters—6-year-old Kristina and 4-year-old Chloe—were riding in the vehicle’s back seat. Chloe was strapped into a car seat, Kristina was reportedly not. Kristina Andarus suffered serious injuries in the La Mesa truck accident, including a broken neck, and reports indicate that she was not breathing when paramedics reached the accident scene. Andarus was not injured in the crash, while her mother suffered a broken leg. Both Kristina and Chloe Andarus were taken to Rady Children’s Hospital. Kristina underwent surgery for her injuries, and her mother spoke with Fox5 afterward.
“My baby, she’s not doing okay,” Aneta Andarus said. “Her spine is damaged. She may not walk anymore.” Andarus said that her 6-year-old daughter was barely alive when she was finally able to get to her after the crash. She credits a nurse who pulled over at the crash site for keeping her daughter alive with CPR.
Firefighter Comforts 4-Year-Old Victim of Truck Crash
Four-year old Chloe Andarus suffered minor injuries in the La Mesa truck accident, but a firefighter was quick to come to the aid of the girl, offering comfort in the wake of the horrific crash.
Images and videos from the scene show an unidentified firefighter holding the youngest Andarus daughter and rocking her gently back and forth beside a fire truck, while carrying her through emergency crews.