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UPDATE: Big rig driver killed on Interstate 5

Trucker took evasive action as car swerved toward him

Posted: June 12, 2014 11:45 a.m.
Updated: June 12, 2014 5:24 p.m.

The driver of a big rig was killed Thursday after his truck jack-knifed on Interstate 5 near Pyramid Lake, spilling fuel and sparking a brush fire, a California Highway Patrol officer said.

Dead is the 54-year-old driver from Sun Valley. “We won’t have a confirmed identification for a few days,” said Coroner’s Lt. David Smith.

oCoroner’s Lt. David Smith said whose name was not released because his next of kin have not yet been notified, said CHP Sgt. Jim Mair.

A motorist in a 2002 Lincoln Town Car traveling about 65 mph in the northbound lanes abruptly changed lanes around midnight, “nearly colliding with the driver of the big rig,” CHP Sgt. Jim Mair said in a report released Thursday.

The truck driver took evasive action in an attempt to avoid a collision, Mair said. “The big rig jack-knifed and rolled on its right side.

“The big rig became engulfed in flames, killing the truck driver,” Mair said.

About 50 gallons of diesel fuel spilled into the storm drain. Los Angeles County and Caltrans hazardous materials teams responded. Ocean Blue Environmental Services also responded for the clean-up.

Three of the four northbound lanes were closed for periods during the response by emergency crews and reopened to traffic at stages in the cleanup, said CHP Sgt. Perry Haggard. All four lanes weren’t reopened until just before noon, nearly 12 hours after the crash.

As for the cleanup, some of the spilled diesel fuel got into the storm drain but not into any waterways or Pyramid Lake, said Fire Department Inspector Rick Flores.

“We still have Health HazMat units at the scene,” Flores said at 2 p.m., referring to specialized hazardous materials cleanup crews.

Caltrans officials helped in the cleanup.

“Our crews will use sand or materials to absorb the fuel,” said Caltrans spokesman Patrick Chandler.

The driver of the Town Car, who suffered minor injuries, has been identified as 25-year-old Davonte T. Carr of San Jose. No one was arrested in the crash.

An investigation into the truck crash will continue.
on Twitter @jamesarthurholt





NotSoAwesomeTown: Posted: June 12, 2014 9:31 a.m.

God I hope the big rig driver died of injuries prior to burning. RIP

What's really sad is "Davonte" probably doesn't even care that his driving like a complete @#*hole caused the death of the big rig driver. I really hope they can bring charges against this guy. It's just not right.

Vtown123: Posted: June 12, 2014 10:28 a.m.

Unless you know something more than what's posted in the article, you can't make a judgement on the driver of the car. He could have had a tire blowout or something, you just don't know.

The driver of the truck should not have taken evasive action - go through whatever it is instead of jack-knifing which could cause further accidents.

NotSoAwesomeTown: Posted: June 12, 2014 10:50 a.m.

The driver of the big rig was taking action to avoid a collision with the Town Car and possibly causing THAT driver any injury - and lost his own life as a result. If the Town Car had a blowout, I'm sure it would have been mentioned. It's a shame the driver of the big rig died, as we no longer have his version of events to take into account. Only an idiot cuts off a big rig, especially one carrying fuel.

Vtown123: Posted: June 12, 2014 12:00 p.m.

"I'm sure it would have been mentioned"

Really? You must be new around these parts ;) All I'm saying is don't be so quick to judge.

Lotus8: Posted: June 12, 2014 12:07 p.m.

If I am driving a truck full of fuel, I do whatever it takes not to jack-knife. You just hit the brakes and keep the wheel straight. Hard to Monday morning QB the situation when a guy died, however. A shame for his family and friends. I, too, hope he died from the collision and not from the flames.

missyJk: Posted: June 12, 2014 5:40 p.m.

Condolences to the family of the truck driver

truckerjim2014: Posted: June 13, 2014 5:47 p.m.

I was right behind him. There was no response from the truck before the truck caught fire. I will tell you it is very hard to think about. And I can not get the image of the accident out of my head. I was in the far right lane in a semi truck myself. I feel for the family. Another reason its hard is because my trailer lights went out so I slowed down if that wouldnt have happened I would have been in the accident. And he was not hauling fuel it was a usf reddaway truck pulling two van trailer

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