Tuesday Mar 04 2008
Big rig crash kills one
By: Penne Usher, Journal Staff Writer
Truck driver strikes parked Caltrans vehicle on I-80
One lane of westbound Interstate 80 was open to traffic at 9 a.m. following an early morning fatal collision involving a big rig Tuesday. One man was killed and another seriously injured in a semi-truck crash around 1:15 a.m. on Interstate 80 near Baxter. Officials closed all westbound lanes of the interstate while they righted the big rig and diverted traffic to Highway 20 through Nevada City then onto southbound Highway 49. Officer Mike Pugh, spokesman for the Gold Run Office of the California Highway Patrol, said Tuesday that a big rig driver hauling frozen turkeys westbound slammed into a Caltrans advisory vehicle parked along the right hand shoulder. There was no indication of slowing or that the driver applied his brakes, Pugh said. It is estimated the driver, who may have fallen asleep, was traveling between 55 and 60 mph. The driver of the big rig was partially ejected from the cab and drug approximately 200 feet while trapped underneath. His identity has not been released pending notification of his next of kin. The impact from the semi launched the Caltrans vehicle into the air, splitting it in two, Pugh said. Part of the advisory truck landed in the eastbound lanes of Interstate 80. It was a serious impact, he said. The Caltrans worker, Jonathan Roseberry, 24, of Marysville, was taken to Sutter Roseville Medical Center with minor to moderate injuries, officials said. He is lucky to be alive, Pugh said. Cal Fire Battalion Chief Jeff Brand said that three engines, two ambulances and an air ambulance responded to the early morning crash. It took us about 45 minutes to free the victim, Brand said Tuesday. We stood by for emergency crews to right the semi as a precaution. He said that there were two large gas tanks on the semi that could have ruptured causing a diesel spill. It was a complex scene, Brand said. The Journal's Penne Usher can be reached at email@example.com or post a comment on auburnjournal.com.