Most Viewed Stories
Death on the road
Man dies after trying to pass a big rig
A traffic accident involving a big rig and a dark colored van left one man dead on Saturday night.
Sgt. Rodney Kennedy of the California Highway Patrol explained that both drivers were east bound on California State route 137, when the driver of the big rig, a 41-year-old man from Hanford, stopped at the intersection of the Tulare-Lindsay Highway and Road 168, also known as Farmersville Boulevard. As the driver of the big rig turned left he was hit by the driver of the van who had attempted to pass the rig on left-hand side.
“Do not pass at an intersection. The solid yellow line is there for a reason. There’s an impending hazard,” stated Kennedy who added that two witnesses saw the accident, but only one had been identified.
According to Kennedy, the driver of the big rig was upset.
“The driver of the big rig was not hurt, but obviously shook up,” added Kennedy.
Kennedy also pointed out that alcohol was not a factor with the big rig driver, but he did not yet know about the victim. Fire fighters, paramedics, and rescue personnel swarmed the scene.
More than 15 fire fighters from different companies of the Tulare County Fire Department came out to help retrieve the body of the accident victim which was stuck inside the van that due to the impact was halfway under the side of the big rig. Both vehicles came to rest in the dry canal.
Battalion Chief with Tulare County Fire Doug Hicks explained that the driver of the van was declared dead at the scene by the flight nurse on Skylife air ambulance out of Fresno.
As dusk settled, fire fighters and bystanders used shovels to unload the big rig which was full of chopped corn. After almost two hours the rig was empty enough to where it could be pulled up.
“Step one is to peel the roof back, have access to the victim and remove the victim,” said Hicks.
He added that once the victim was removed he would be sent to the Tulare County Sheriff's Department and the coroner.
“The body becomes their responsibility,” stated Hicks.
After using saws to cut the roof open, the body was then covered and removed.
The driver of the big rig works for Hetto Ag. Inc. Henry Loya, the foreman of the crew and the driver's boss, explained that the driver called him and told him that there had been an accident. Loya then came out to the scene and helped with rescue efforts.
On Monday, the Tulare County Coroner identified the man as David Torres, 25 of Tulare.