Courtesy of the Madera Police Department
An overturned semi truck hauling two trailers of fertilizer blocked all southbound traffic on State Route 99 Tuesday afternoon, after the driver lost control, went off the right shoulder and struck sand barrels after crossing the Fresno River bridge.
A semi truck hauling double trailers of liquid fertilizer overturned on southbound State Route 99 mid day on Tuesday, injuring the driver and closing both lanes of traffic, according the California Highway Patrol.
The 12:40 p.m. solo vehicle incident was witnessed by another driver, according to CHP officer and public information officer Greg Rodriguez.
“There were witness accounts that this driver, a 40-year-old woman from Fresno, lost control and allowed her vehicle to drift off the southbound side and collide at full speed with the sand barrels before the concrete K rail, shortly after crossing the bridge over the Fresno River. She sustained unknown injuries to her shoulder and abdomen, and was taken to Community Regional Medical Center.” Rodriguez said.
The 2017 semi cab and one loaded, overturned trailer skidded down the pavement for at least a hundred feet, before coming to a stop. The second trailer remained upright. Fortunately the trailer did not rupture, Rodriguez said, and no chemicals were spilled. Both southbound lanes were closed for about an hour until it was determined the load of fertilizer was not hazardous or explosive.
All southbound traffic on SR 99 was diverted into Madera at Avenue 16, flooding surface streets with vehicles. The center divide was opened about two hours later for one south bound lane of traffic as emergency crews worked to clear the semi and trailers from the scene of the crash.
Both lanes were reopened to southbound traffic around 4:30 p.m. An investigation into the crash is ongoing, with distracted driving and other factors under review. The driver was also cited for log book violations. Alcohol was not a factor at the time of the crash, according to officers.