A rest area along Highway 46 in Shandon was the scene of a mutli-vehicle collision just before daylight on Monday, March 5. The 5:50 a.m. incident, which involved three tractor-trailers and a sports utility vehicle (SUV), resulted in two motorists being seriously injured.
A California Highway Patrol (CHP) report chronicles how one of the tractor-trailer drivers, a 63-year-old Laton resident, was traveling westbound along Highway 46 before the accident occurred. Soon thereafter, witnesses described having seen the man’s Freightliner truck cross the center line, entering the eastbound lane. It’s then that he sideswiped the Freightliner of a 25-year-old Santa Maria trucker.
The second trucker continued driving eastbound, ultimately crossing the center line and entering into oncoming traffic. It’s then that he crashed into the rear axle of an International semi-truck. That truck was being driven by a 29-year-old Bakersfield man at the time.
Ultimately, both the second Freightliner’s driver and the one operating the International tractor-trailer came to a stop in Highway 46’s westbound lane and shoulder.
The Freightliner tractor-trailer driver, who caused the initial crash continued driving in the direction of oncoming traffic after striking the one trucker. CHP reports that he then struck a Ford Expedition SUV head-on. The impact of that crash caused that motorist to spin out, ultimately coming to a rest in the highway’s westbound lane.
Soon thereafter, the driver of the original Freightliner, who is believed to have caused this whole incident, was stopped. By the time he was, his truck blocked Highway 46’s entire eastbound lane in between Lucy Brown Road and the rest area in Shandon.
The two occupants of the Ford Expedition suffered serious injuries in the crash and were transported to San Luis Obispo’s Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center. The two Visalia residents have been described as a 52-year-old male and a 48-year-old female.
Three dogs were also riding in the Expedition at the time of the crash. One died at the scene.
The portion of the highway where the crash occurred was closed until around 12:20 p.m., as investigators set out to make sense of what led to the collision. CHP has stated that they don’t believe drugs or alcohol were contributing factors to this crash.
If you’ve suffered serious injuries after being struck by a tractor-trailer, then an Irvine attorney can advise you of your right to file an injury lawsuit in your case.
Source: The Tribune, “2 people seriously injured, dog killed in crash of 3 big rigs, SUV on Hwy. 46,” Gabby Ferreira, March 05, 2018