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Wal-Mart big rig, 2 pickups pile up on Interstate 80 in Auburn

Spinout of truck caused three-vehicle wreck: Witness
By: Gus Thomson, Journal Staff Writer
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A pickup spun out on Interstate 80 Friday, bouncing off a Wal-Mart big rig, a center divider and another truck in a noon-hour accident that slowed westbound traffic through Auburn. The Ford pickup initially collided with the tractor-trailer rig after starting to slide, said the driver of the third vehicle, a Chevy Silverado pickup traveling from Reno to Thousand Oaks. The Silverado driver, whose car sustained front-end damage, walked away, as did his female passenger. The driver of the Ford crawled away from the pickup, which had front and rear-end damage. The woman was taken to hospital with injuries the Silverado driver said didn't appear to be more than minor. The Silverado driver, who declined to give his name, said traffic was flowing in an orderly manner when his wife called attention to the Ford Ranger that had started to slide. It hit the Wal-Mart semi and then traveled into the center divider before bouncing off and hitting the Silverado, he said. The accident occurred between the Elm Avenue and Highway 49 onramps beside the Auburn Holiday Inn. The Wal-Mart truck's driver was also not treated at the scene for any injuries. The truck was too damaged to be moved on its own and covered two of the freeway's three lanes. That allowed traffic to flow through slowly. By 1:30 p.m. the vehicles had yet to be cleared and traffic was backed up as far as the Foresthill exit, more than a mile to the east. The Journal's Gus Thomson can be reached at