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UPDATE: Gorman crash victim identified as Fontana man

Posted: March 26, 2014 9:56 a.m.
Updated: March 26, 2014 6:30 p.m.

California Highway Patrol officers Wednesday identified the truck driver killed in a Tuesday Interstate 5 truck crash as 42-year-old Richard Topete of Fontana.

Topete was pronounced dead Tuesday at the scene of a collision between the fully loaded tanker truck hauling jet fuel that he was driving and a box truck. The colllision occurred early Tuesday in the northbound lanes of Interstate 5 just south of Highway 138, CHP Officer John Lutz said.

“We have crews still at the scene performing spot cleanup,” Lutz said Wednesday morning.

Two lanes were closed down for about 20 hours following the collision as investigators combed the scene. Traffic remained backed up for miles on the northbound I-5.

Shortly after 2:30 a.m. Wednesday, CHP officers opened all northbound lanes to traffic, Lutz said.

The driver of the box truck, identified as 55-year-old Dominador B. Oropilla of Mesa, Arizona, was taken to Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital on Tuesday.

Oropilla was traveling at a relatively slow speed northbound in the interstate’s right-most lane just south of Highway 138 when the crash occurred around 6:30 a.m. Tuesday. His truck was hauling about 70,000 pounds of tomatoes.

The driver of the tanker trailer hauling jet fuel was traveling northbound in the same lane at an unknown rate of speed, the officer said.

“For unknown reasons at this time, the tanker driver allowed his vehicle to collide with the rear of Oropilla’s vehicle,” Lutz said Tuesday.

Neither alcohol nor drugs appeared to be a factor in the crash, he said.
on Twitter @jamesarthurholt



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