Autumn Rain Brings Traffic Problems
On Thursday evening, October 7, 2021, rain began to fall in the Sierras. Shortly thereafter, eastbound I-80 was shut down for several hours due to a jackknifed big rig.
Details of the Jackknife Incident Near Truckee
Shortly after 8:00 p.m. on Thursday, a big rig was involved in a crash on eastbound I-80 west of Truckee, according to officials from Caltrans. The incident caused the closure of the highway and snarled traffic for hours.
The big rig crash occurred in the vicinity of the Donner Lake offramp. Clearing the scene required the closure of eastbound I-80 at the Donner Summit for around two hours. The cause of the crash has not yet been determined.
CHP Twitter Updates and Commentary
During the highway closure, the California Highway Patrol (CHP), Truckee division, was keeping in communication with commuters via their Twitter feed. Their first update at 8:29 p.m. indicated that I-80 in the eastbound direction had been closed due to the jackknifed truck. Because incidents such as this are common during periods of new rain, they made a quip asking who had guessed that such an incident would occur in the eight o’clock hour. As of that first Tweet, the agency did not yet have an estimated time of highway reopening.
Two hours later, at 10:27 p.m., however, the CHP Twitter was able to send out an update that the highway at Donner Summit had been reopened. They also used the opportunity to cautioned travelers to drive safely because the roads were wet.
Frustrated Traveler Feedback
Thursday evening’s incident signifies the beginning of road closure season in the Sierras. Highways 50 and 80 experience temporary closures every year throughout the fall and winter months, usually due to snow, but sometimes because of car crashes. Whenever such a road closure happens, we can expect news crews to interview weary travelers who, due to timing, have gotten stuck in stopped traffic.
The CHP’s Twitter thread regarding Thursday’s closure contained some input from the public. One commenter remarked that every time it has rained in the Sierra this fall, a truck accident has prompted the closure of eastbound I-80. On the heels of that comment, another Twitter user suggested that poor road conditions may have something to do with this – that there are huge divots in the roadway, especially within the right lane, that have been caused by the use of tire chains. The commenter went on to suggest that fixing those divots may prevent future accidents.
The First Sierra Snowfall
After the Thursday night rain and resultant big rig accident, the Truckee region saw its first snow on the morning of Friday, October 8th. After years of drought and summer wildfires, we can be hopeful that this season will bring enough precipitation to dampen the parched region. Using extra caution on the roads and being patient with road closures is a small price to pay to fill our lakes and rivers and to have an abundant ski season.
Watch the YouTube video. The clip below offers an interesting look at winter conditions over the Donner Pass.
Truckee Personal Injury Lawyer
Thank you for reading our report on the closure of Eastbound I-80 on Thursday night. My name is Ed Smith, and I am a Truckee personal injury attorney. Many accidents occur on Interstate 80, especially during the winter months. Some of them are big-rig truck accidents – the highway is an important commercial corridor. If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident that was caused by a negligent driver, our firm can help. Reach out to us at (530) 392-9400 or at (800) 404-5400. We are happy to offer free and friendly legal advice.
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Photo: by Nico Smit via Unsplash
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