Semi Runs Stop Sign Sending Motorist Plummeting Into Canal And To His Death

Holtville, California – A motorist lost his life earlier this week after a semi-truck ran a stop sign and struck his pickup truck sending him plummeting into a canal.

According to California Highway Patrol (CHP), 41-year-old Arturo Gonzalez, of Calipatria, CA, died after his pickup truck became submerged in a canal following a collision with a semi-truck on Monday.

The driver of the semi, whose identity has not yet been released, failed to stop at a stop sign at the intersection of Holt and Norris Road in Holtville, CHP investigators said.


Holtville Fire Chief Alex Silva and his team were first onto the scene and attempted to save Gonzalez from drowning.

Silva told local news outlet KYMA that the impact from the collision pinned Gonzalez between the door and the middle console.

Silva, along with a police officer, a bystander and the semi-truck driver, jumped into the canal.

“We didn’t have life vests or helmets we just went in,” Silva said.

The “extremely forceful” current made matters more difficult and dangerous he conceded.

Rescuers were able to cut the shoulder strap off of Gonzalez, but struggled with the waist strap.

A semi-truck driver ran a stop sign and collided with a pickup truck sending the motorist into a canal and to his death, according to CHP investigators. (Courtesy of KYMA)

As every second counted, Silva said their efforts simply came up short.

“Our job is to rescue people. Save life. And in a situation like this, the circumstances were against us. And we were unsuccessful,” he told KYMA.


Sgt. Ernesto Ruedas with CHP said charges against the semi-truck driver could be filed.

“In this case, what applies most as of right now is involuntary manslaughter without malice,” he said to KYMA.

Transportation Nation Network will continue to monitor new developments.

(Image courtesy of KMYA)




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