Highway 37 Closed for Hours After Big Rig Accident

Home » Highway 37 Closed for Hours After Big Rig Accident
November 09, 2021
Edward Smith

Friday Afternoon Accident Shuts Major Highway

On Friday, November 5, 2021, the California Highway Patrol (CHP) made the decision to keep busy Highway 37 closed in both directions for several hours after an accident that involved big rigs and passenger vehicles. The highway connects Sonoma County to Vallejo and Napa and is heavily trafficked by both truck drivers and private commuters. Its closure created a significant headache for many travelers on Friday afternoon. At least one person sustained major injuries in the crash. 

Details of the Accident

At approximately 1:24 p.m., two big rigs crashed in the single eastbound lane of Highway 37. At least two other passenger vehicles, one of which was an SUV, were also involved in the collision. The impact occurred east of Highway 121, and eastbound traffic was diverted onto 121 while 37 was shut down. 

By 2:25 p.m., a medical transport helicopter was at the scene, along with several emergency vehicles. According to reports, at least one person involved in the crash required transport via helicopter to Walnut Creek’s John Muir Medical Center for trauma evaluation and treatment of major injuries.

Highway 37 Closed – Area Traffic Affected

A severe traffic alert was issued by the CHP following the crash. Several agencies were providing traffic updates via Twitter, although initially there was no indication as to when the highway may reopen.

It took several hours for the scene to be cleared of the vehicles and debris. Westbound lanes of Highway 37 were reopened at approximately 4:30 p.m., while the eastbound lanes remained closed for a while longer. Full reopening in both directions occurred just before 5:00 p.m. Even after reopening, the CHP advised travelers to expect residual slowing as a result of the extended closure.

Watch the YouTube video. Below is helicopter footage that has been released from the scene of Friday’s accident. Whenever scene footage is released, loved ones of injured parties should be aware that watching the video may be troubling.

Closing a Major Highway

Sometimes serious crashes necessitate the closure of a highway. When that happens, highway patrol officers work to get people off the road or past the wreckage as safely as possible.

The reason that some crashes require that the highway be closed is that major accidents, especially those that result in severe injuries or fatalities, are handled like crime scenes. Officers and accident investigators not only have to clear the scene of vehicles and debris, but they also must collect and preserve evidence to determine what caused the crash. Additionally, if a large emergency response is required, the highway may be closed to protect the safety of those first responders.

With regard to the recent Highway 37 crash, some reports from the scene indicate that the CHP was allowing westbound traffic to pass by the scene after some debris had been cleared. When this happens, it can be a very slow process as safety is paramount.

Other Issues to Consider

When semi-trucks are involved in a crash, investigators must determine if there is any threat to public safety as a result of the materials that are being hauled inside the trucks. If there is a concern of a hazardous material spill, that could cause a prolonged highway closure.

Fortunately, the Highway 37 closure did not result in commuters being stuck in their cars overnight, but that has happened in other regions following complicated major crashes.

Check Traffic Updates

Before embarking on a road trip, motorists should consult websites, apps, or Twitter information regarding road conditions to ensure that highways are clear. Of course, there is no way to predict whether a major crash could occur once you have already begun your trip. You can sign up for traffic alerts through many traveling apps on your mobile phone. Navigation programs like Google Maps and Waze provide alerts and alternate routes if you are approaching a hazard or obstruction.

Ultimately, sometimes we may get stuck in traffic congestion that is created by a major crash on the highway. Traveling requires patience, and one thing that may help is keeping in mind that someone was injured and/or killed in the collision, and if that had been a loved one, we would want and expect a thorough investigation by the CHP.

Napa Truck Accident Lawyers

Hello – I’m Ed Smith, a Napa truck accident lawyer. Thanks for reading our report of the accident that kept Highway 37 closed for hours. If you are seeking compassionate, free, and friendly advice following a truck or car accident, please reach out to our injury attorneys at (707) 564-1900 or (800) 404-5400.

We provide outstanding legal representation for our clients, as evidenced by the reviews written on the sites linked below:

Photo by: Maxence Pira via Unsplash

mm llo [cs 806]