Hank Sims / Friday, Dec. 22, 2017 @ 10:16 a.m. /
Ferndale Man Killed in Yesterday’s Big Rig Crash Near the Humboldt-Mendocino Line
From the California Highway Patrol:
On 12/21/2017 , at approximately 1:15 P.M., a 2018 Peterbilt logging truck was being driven northbound on US-101, at a speed of at least 40 miles per hour by driver (name withheld pending notification). At the same time a 2014 Ram 2500 was being driven southbound at approximately 50 miles per hour.
For reasons still under investigation, the driver of the Peterbilt allowed his vehicle to cross over the solid double yellow lines and the Peterbilt side swiped the Ram pickup. The Ram pickup continued southbound and due to the damage from the first collision spun out of control and collided with a Honda CR-V that was traveling northbound on US-101. The 2018 Peterbilt continued northbound across the southbound lane and off the west shoulder of US-101. The Peterbilt collided with a power pole. After the collision with the pole, the Peterbilt continued in a northwesterly direction off the descending embankment where the front right collided with a large redwood tree. The driver of the Peterbilt became trapped within the vehicle. The Peterbilt came to rest on its wheels approximately 15 feet down the embankment against the tree. As a result of the collision the driver of the Peterbilt sustain fatal injuries. Both the driver of the Ram and Honda were uninjured.
Due to the collision with the power pole both the power and phone lines were down across both lanes of traffic. After the scene had came to rest a Winco foods truck had been traveling southbound and collided into the power lines that were in the roadway causing a separate collision.
Both lanes of traffic were blocked for approximately two and a half hours until the power lines could be removed from the roadway. One lane traffic control was established at approximately 4:00 P.M. Due to the fuel spill from the Peterbilt, county health was notified and Hazmat protocol was established with CHP as incident command. PGE took over one way traffic control at approximately 11:00 P.M. after the Peterbilt was recovered. At approximately 7:00 am on 12/22/2017 traffic was restored to normal.
The cause of the collision remains under investigation by the Garberville CHP, however alcohol impairment is not considered as a factor in the the collision. Leggett Volunteer Fire, Laytonville Fire, City Ambulance, Veri Health ambulance, Caltrans, PGE, Frontier and CHP all responded to and assisted at the scene along with some of the passing motorist.