29-Year-Old Driver Dies During Flaming Big Rig Accident
On Tuesday, November 17, 2015, at approximately 1120 hours, a male adult was driving semi-truck northbound on US Highway 101 at MPM 101 HUM 42.39 The semi-truck was traveling at an unknown speed and for reasons still under investigation, the semi-truck traveled from the northbound lanes, across the southbound lanes, and onto the southbound shoulder. The semi-truck traveled a short distance on the shoulder before colliding with multiple trees.
The collision resulted in the Freightliner truck tractor overturning and coming to rest on its roof facing in a southwesterly direction. The trailer became separated from the truck tractor, overturned, and came to rest on its right side facing in a southwesterly direction, a short distance away from the truck. The truck became partially engulfed in flames which were quickly extinguished at the scene by responding Fire Personnel.
The driver became trapped in the cabin of the truck and was extracted with the use of hydraulic equipment at the scene. The driver appeared to have suffered blunt force trauma to the head and was pronounced deceased by City Ambulance of Eureka personnel, prior to extraction.
The Freightliner truck overturning resulted in the separation of fuel tanks and an undetermined amount of diesel fuel was spilled into the dirt. The Humboldt County Hazmat Team has been requested to facilitate the cleanup and mitigate the environmental impact.
Assisting agencies at the scene included Cal Fire, Scotia Volunteer Fire, City Ambulance of Eureka, Caltrans, and Humboldt Dept. of Health and Human Services.
This collision remains under investigation by the California Highway Patrol. Alcohol does not appear to be a factor in the cause of this collision.