A Loma Linda man is dead after colliding with the back of a vehicle-carrier truck in Lake Elsinore, California, and getting stuck under the commercial truck. The accident is the most recent in the state to highlight the dangers large trucks can hold for other drivers and to illustrate the need for improved truck underride safety measures on the nation’s roads.
The Lake Elsinore truck crash was just one of numerous incidents involving box trucks, semi-trucks and other commercial trucks throughout the Golden State in recent days.
Loma Linda Man Dies in I-15 Truck Accident
February 21, 2018
Authorities are investigating the death of a 40-year-old Loma Linda man who died when the vehicle he was driving collided with a vehicle-carrier truck on the Interstate 15 Freeway in Lake Elsinore. The man, later identified as Franky Tambingon, a father of four, died after his vehicle became wedged under the vehicle-carrier truck, in what is known as an underride accident.
California Highway Patrol officials say that the Lake Elsinore truck crash occurred at 9:53 a.m. as Tambingon drove southbound in a white 2002 Honda. The tractor-trailer, loaded with vehicles, was pulled over on the shoulder of the freeway near the Highway 74 off-ramp, and the driver was checking his cargo. Tambingon veered to the right and hit the rear of the semi, with the Honda coming to a stop wedged under the truck.
Paramedics with the Riverside County Fire Department were the first to arrive on the scene, but they pronounced Tambingon dead at the scene. The driver of the vehicle-carrier truck sustained no injuries.
Was Rear Underride Guard a Factor in Lake Elsinore Truck Crash?
The CHP continues to investigate the incident but has not said why Tambingon veered from the road, though they believe it is possible that he was preparing to exit the freeway at the off-ramp. One southbound lane of Interstate 15 was closed for approximately 90 minutes as emergency vehicles arrived on the scene and completed an initial investigation.
The Riverside CHP Investigation Unit is asking anyone who witnessed the crash to contact them at 951-637-8000.
Among the details that have not been given on the Lake Elsinore truck crash are what kind of rear underride guard the tractor-trailer involved had. Rear underride guards are required by law in the U.S., but critics say that regulations regarding maintenance of those truck underride guards and ability to withstand high impacts are both lacking. Rear guards in America are only required to survive half the force of rear guards in Canada, and no side guards are required, in contrast to Europe, which calls for both.
Studies have found that a solid underride guard can drastically reduce the severity of injuries to passenger vehicle occupants, but the trucking industry has been slow to shift, saying that they prefer to focus on accident prevention instead of improved crash safety.
One Fatality in Fontana Truck Crash
February 26, 2018
The Fontana Police Department continues to investigate an accident at Sierra Avenue and Slover Avenue that caused one death.
Officials say that 25-year-old Robert A. Winstead was traveling northbound on Sierra Avenue in a gray 2005 Acura with one female passenger at approximately 5:00 a.m. when he collided with the rear of a single-unit truck (also known as a box truck) that was also traveling northbound, but was stopped to turn onto Slover Avenue.
Images from the scene show Winstead’s vehicle heavily crumpled from the impact, in a manner consistent with an underride crash. Box trucks, unlike big-rigs, are not required to have rear guards, despite sitting much higher than many passenger vehicles. The U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration began to push for such a rule in 2015 and estimated that five deaths and 30 injuries, on average, could be prevented each year with the requirement. So far, no requirement has been put in place.
Winstead was transported to Kaiser Hospital and pronounced dead at 6:36 a.m. Neither his female passenger nor the driver of the box truck was injured.
Multi-Vehicle Crash in Fremont Injures Three
February 26, 2018
Details are still coming to light regarding a multi-vehicle crash involving a box truck on Interstate Highway 680 in Fremont that resulted in three people suffering injuries.
A member of the Yolo County Sheriff’s Office was in the Mission Boulevard area when the crash occurred at approximately 12:04 p.m. That person was the first to report the accident, which involved a box truck and three other vehicles. Initial reports said that the box truck lost control and slammed into a center divider before colliding with the three other vehicles, but subsequent reports suggested that the first collision was between a red pickup truck and an SUV, which then caused the box truck to hit the center divider.
One person sustained severe injuries, including cuts to the face, in the Fremont truck crash, and two others sustained moderate injuries. Two people were trapped inside vehicles after the crash and had to be freed by emergency personnel, though it’s not clear if those two were injured.