Out Of Hours And Nowhere To Park, Trucker Tells Police After 3 People Killed In Crash
Emeryville, California – The California Highway Patrol (CHP) has released new information about a fatal collision involving a big rig which killed 3 people along I-80 on Thursday morning.
According to CHP a tractor-trailer was parked along the shoulder of westbound I-80 early Thursday morning. At approximately 1:30 a.m. authorities say an SUV carrying a family of four from San Pablo plowed into the rear of the big rig.
CHP confirmed three of the four people inside the SUV, ranging in age from 17 to 26-years-old, died on the scene. Another victim, a 17-year-old boy, was critically injured.
Now CHP has released additional information about what the trucker said happened that night. Fearing he was about to run out of on-duty hours, the truck driver told CHP investigators he chose to pull over rather than risk violating hours-of-service (HOS) regulations.
“The driver of the big-rig had pulled over to get some rest,” CHP officer Herman Baza told CBS San Francisco. “Apparently, he was sleeping when the collision happened.”
CHP officials pointed out that the driver could have continued southbound little more than one-quarter of a mile and taken the Maritime Drive exit at the Port of Oakland where the driver might have been able to find parking. However, the driver did not believe parking would be available at that time, and rather than risk the HOS violation, he chose to pull over onto the shoulder.
In CBS San Francisco’s report, the news outlet spoke to a local truck driver Oscar Sanchez, who works in the port. He said there is hardly ever available parking for long-haul truckers. “Sometimes you come here on the weekends and you’ll find people that come from out of state sleeping in the middle of the street because there’s no parking,” Sanchez explained.
In fact, Sanchez said the parking situation is so bad, truckers will park in areas designated “No Parking Zones” because there is simply nowhere else to park. “Like yesterday, somebody got a ticket just to park for less than two minutes … he got a ticket,” Sanchez described.
California law allows for big rigs to park along the shoulder in “emergency” situations only. CHP officials are urging truck drivers who might be in the same situation to risk an HOS violation instead of parking on the shoulder of the interstate which might result in a deadly crash.
“You have a two-ton bullet going past you if you’re pulled to the side of the road, Baza commented. “You never know who’s driving it.”
Investigators believe the driver of the SUV was likely driving too fast for the conditions and reported that the road were wet at the time of the crash. CHP has not arrested the truck driver and is still deciding whether or not to pursue charges against him.
The investigation is ongoing. Transportation Nation Network will continue to bring you the latest updates.