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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





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