Last night, a series of crashes in a construction zone on I-5 near Stockdale Highway killed one man and caused serious injuries to others, Bakersfieldnow.com reports. According to the news story, the California Highway Patrol said the cause of each crash appears to have been caused by drivers who did not slow down for traffic that was stalled in a construction zone.
The first in the series of accidents began around 6:30 p.m. on June 18, 2012, when Zachary Huber, a 31-year-old from Milwaukie, Oregon, was driving a U-Haul and towing a car on northbound I-5 and approached slow or stalled traffic too quickly, Bakersfieldnow.com reports. According to a CHP officer, Huber rear-ended a semi truck, and probably died on impact.
Moments after that crash, a pickup driver, whose identity has not been released, didn’t slow down in enough time to avoid stalled traffic on the opposite side of the freeway, on southbound I-5. CHP said that the driver suffered moderate injuries as a result of rolling the pick up truck.
Later, on the same evening, around 11:00 p.m. Bakersfieldnow.com reports, three big-rigs crashed in the same construction zone on I-5. In that crash also, traffic appeared to have stopped on the freeway, and one truck rear-ended another big-rig. According to the news story, the drivers of both semi trucks tried to veer off the road, but they instead swerved together and collided. The two colliding trucks crashed into a third semi truck, according to the CHP, the news website reports.
When the tractor-trailers caught fire, one of the truck drivers was reported to have suffered severe burns over 75 percent of his body, Bakersfieldnow.com reports in their news story. The names of the victims were not released.
CHP Officer Les Huot was quoted as saying there is adequate signage alerting drivers that the roadway is being repaved. He emphasized there are signs for miles and miles and miles.
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