A 52-year-old California man is dead after a serious multiple-vehicle truck accident near San Francisco. Authorities say that the crash happened in Modesto on Highway 99 yesterday morning around 11 a.m. A 25-year-old driver was going northbound on the highway and sideswiped a truck as she attempted to switch lanes.
The truck driver lost control of his vehicle and crashed into the concrete median of the road. Blocks of concrete flew across the southbound lanes of the highway, causing chaos for oncoming traffic. Several cars safely swerved to avoid the concrete chunks.
One 52-year-old man driving a Ford was killed however when a piece of concrete came flying through his windshield. His car continued traveling for a short time before it was stopped by the center barrier. He was pronounced dead at the scene and the California Highway Patrol attempted to notify his next of kin throughout the afternoon.
The 25-year-old woman who caused the chain accident and the truck driver suffered minor personal injuries. Liability for this action may be spread against several parties and their insurers, depending on who handles the wrongful death litigation for the family of the deceased Ford driver.
In addition to the two initial drivers who caused the accident, the government body in charge of maintaining the highway may also face liability if it can be shown that the concrete barrier was insufficient to sustain the foreseeable impact of a large vehicle such as a truck. Metal netting may be added to concrete barriers in some locations to prevent similar accidents in the future.
Source: The Modesto Bee, “Dislodged concrete from crash kills Highway 99 driver in Modesto,” Erin Tracy, Aug. 10, 2012