Four big rigs were involved in a crash on Highway 99 south in Merced just after noon on Thursday, according to California Highway Patrol. One man suffered minor injuries.
The left lane is now open, Officer Eric Zuniga said, but it will be at least four hours until the right lane opens again. CHP advice's people to take alternate routes, like Santa Fe Drive and Highway 140.
At about 12:10, the 65-year-old driver of a 2012 Kenworth that was hauling cars, David Wayne Duke of Modesto, was driving in the right lane when he crashed into a 2017 Kenworth as he was trying to slow down because traffic was stopped, Officer Eric Zuniga said. Duke told police he was slowed down to 25 mph when the collision happened.
Duke's big rig caught fire after he slammed on his breaks, swerved to the right and hit the guard rail, Zuniga said. He was able to get out of his car and suffered lacerations to his left arm.
The big rig Duke hit was hauling a shipping container and was driven by Jose Hernandez, 47, of Woodland.
The impact then caused Hernandez to hit the back of 2010 Kaneworth driven by Balprett Fikhon, 43 of New York. Fikhon then hit a 2012 Peterbilt three axle hauling trailer, driven by 46-year-old Jose Reyes of Riverbank.