The driver of a tractor trailer suffered some type of medical issue Friday afternoon while driving on Highway 99 in Merced that caused him to cross over into on-coming traffic where he collided with another vehicle, the California Highway Patrol reported.
The driver, an Iowa man whose name was not available, was traveling south on Highway 99 near Mission Avenue in Merced County around 1:30 p.m. when he experienced the medical episode, CHP Sgt. Steven Lewis said.
His vehicle, which was hauling an empty trailer, crossed the center median and side-swiped a Mazda 3 with a man and a woman from Oakhurst inside. Neither person was injured but their vehicle sustained major damage.
Lewis said they managed to keep their car on the road long enough to pull over safely onto the median.
Following the impact, the big rig continued across the northbound traffic lanes and crashed down a steep grassy embankment near the Mission Avenue exit on Highway 99.
He was taken to Mercy Medical Center in Merced. An update on his condition was not immediately available.
Lewis said the crash was serious, but also could have been much worse. He noted that section of Highway 99 doesn't have any barriers between the north and southbound lanes.