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Big Rig Crashes Into Caltrans Tractor Near Vacaville

Big Rig Hits Caltrans Tractor on Road Shoulder

On Monday morning, October 11, 2021, one man sustained major injuries when a semi-truck crashed into the Caltrans tractor he was operating. The driver of the big rig driver reportedly was not injured.

Details of the Fiery Crash

According to authorities, the driver of the big rig pulled the truck onto the right shoulder of the highway, at which time it crashed into a stopped Caltrans tractor. The tractor ignited and quickly became engulfed in flames.

The collision occurred shortly before 9:00 a.m. on westbound Interstate 80 in Solano County, between the cities of Dixon and Vacaville, according to reports from the Solano division of the California Highway Patrol (CHP). The incident occurred in the vicinity of North Meridian Road. 

Despite the fact that the crash occurred outside of the main highway lanes, traffic was still affected. A representative from CHP Solano posted on the agency’s Facebook page that drivers should use extra caution and remain alert if they were intending to travel in the area of the crash. The number three lane was closed for around two hours for clean-up and clearance of the scene. This caused traffic approaching the scene on Interstate 80 to become backed up.

Incident Response

Immediately after the crash, several Good Samaritans pulled over and attempted to put out the flames with fire extinguishers. Very quickly thereafter, crews from Vacaville Fire arrived and finished the job. It is fortunate that the fire was extinguished so rapidly, given the strong winds and red flag warnings that were in effect on Monday. 

How Did the Caltrans Tractor Accident Happen?

Reports indicate that the driver of the big rig said that a car had cut him off and he had to swerve to avoid crashing into that car. As he performed the evasive maneuver, he crashed into the Caltrans tractor that was stopped on the shoulder of the freeway. 

Representatives from the CHP indicate that the injuries suffered by the tractor driver were not life-threatening.

The Highway Shoulder is a Dangerous Place

While it is vastly preferable to move to the right shoulder of the highway if you are having car trouble rather than become disabled in a lane of traffic, the shoulder is still a dangerous location. Every year there are a significant number of fatalities due to car accidents that occur on interstate shoulders. 

Here are some general safety rules regarding stopping on the shoulder of the highway:

  • Only stop on the shoulder if it is an emergency. This is especially true at night when there is reduced visibility. If possible, drive to the nearest exit to attend to car trouble.
  • If you absolutely must stop on the road’s shoulder due to an emergency, move as far away from traffic as possible.
  • Do not stand near your vehicle. If you must exit your car, move even further away from traffic. If you stay in the vehicle, keep your seat belt on.
  • Stop on the right shoulder rather than the left, when possible. It is statistically safer.
  • Make your vehicle as visible as you can with its hazard lights engaged. Use flares if you have them.
  • If you see a vehicle stopped on the shoulder, give it as much space as possible when passing.

Watch the YouTube video. The news clip below discusses how drivers should avoid stopping on the shoulder.

Vacaville Truck Accident Lawyer

Hello – thanks for reading our report on this big rig crashing into a Caltrans tractor. I am Ed Smith, a Vacaville truck accident lawyer. If you or a loved one has suffered injuries caused by a negligent motorist, the experienced injury lawyers at our firm are here to offer free and friendly advice. Call us at (800) 404-5400 or (707) 564-1900 today.

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Photo: by Marvin Esteve via Unsplash

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