A semi-truck rollover accident near Lake Cachuma cost its 70-year-old driver his life on Monday. He lost control of his truck near the Bee Rock Quarry entrance off Highway 154. California Highway Patrol officers and Santa Barbara County Fire responded to the fatal Santa Ynez accident.
As the semi-truck travelled downhill it drifted to the right side and struck a hillside, thus causing the driver to lose control near 11:30 a.m. The truck was hauling a load of gravel towards an access road on a private San Lucas Ranch property. The location is directly across from the Bradbury Dam observation area, three-quarters of a mile south of Highway 154, according to news reports. Records show that private property is owned and operated by “Bee Rock Quarry-Granite Construction Company.”
At 11:37 a.m. the fire department responded to the scene. Fire fighters with two engines and a battalion chief were the first to arrive. Later CHP and Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department arrived.
At the scene firefighters witnessed a big-rig with a single trailer that was hauling rock had rolled over. CHP Sgt. Donald W. Clotworthy told news reporters that allegedly the truck then ran off the left side of the road and then overturned. The driver had been ejected from the vehicle and did not have to be extricated. Medical professionals attempted CPR but were unable to revive the driver.
The driver was pronounced dead at the scene. He was killed from blunt force trauma he experienced at the crash, Clotworthy said.
Further information regarding the accident, including the name of the deceased is not being released pending notification of his next of kin.
Authorities from the Santa Barbara County Coroner’s Bureau will perform a routine autopsy on the driver to determine if he had any preexisting medical conditions that may have led to the accident. Alcohol or drug impairment is not suspected, Clotworthy said, but a routine toxicology exam will be performed by the sheriff’s Coroner’s Bureau.
CHP investigators will attempt to determine if the truck experienced mechanical problems prior to the wreck. At times drivers or companies are negligible with their vehicles’ maintenance. Not properly maintaining a vehicle can lead to a wreck. Small improperly functioning parts or too worn parts such as bald tires or worn brakes can be detrimental to the functioning of a vehicle.