Local

Truck crash in Atwater 'very similar' to 2017 deadly explosion, CHP says

Motorists take exit 195 for Applegate Road off of southbound Highway 99 in Atwater, Calif., on Friday, June 23, 2017. The exit reopened after being closed for about a month following a fatal tanker truck crash and explosion.
Motorists take exit 195 for Applegate Road off of southbound Highway 99 in Atwater, Calif., on Friday, June 23, 2017. The exit reopened after being closed for about a month following a fatal tanker truck crash and explosion. akuhn@mercedsun-star.com

The Highway 99 south on and off ramps were closed Tuesday after a truck overturned in a collision that resembled a deadly crash in the same area last year, where speed was also a factor, according to California Highway Patrol.

A 2009 Freightliner being driven by 48-year-old Oakland resident Steve Edward Anderson was traveling south on Highway 99 when he attempted to take the Applegate Road off-ramp at about 7:10 a.m. Tuesday, CHP Merced Officer Eric Zuniga said.

The truck, which was hauling a refrigeration unit, overturned on its left side and its trailer caught fire, Zuniga said, adding that it was quickly extinguished.

Anderson was taken to Mercy Medical Center by ambulance to be treated for minor injuries, Zuniga said.

As a result of the crash, the Applegate Road on-ramp and off-ramp for Highway 99 were closed Tuesday morning and re-opened around noon, Zuniga said.

According to a preliminary investigation, speed appears to have been a factor in Tuesday's collision, Zuniga said, noting that the off-ramp speed limit is 25 mph. Neither alcohol nor drugs appear to be factors.

No citations were issued Tuesday, said Zuniga, who added the crash was "very similar" to the speed-related gas tanker explosion that shut down several businesses in the Applegate area on May 23, 2017.

The tanker was carrying 8,600 gallons of gasoline to be delivered to the Applegate area Arco gas station when it overturned as 57-year-old driver Kamkyo Ramon Gnotsavath attempted to exit Highway 99 onto Bell Lane.

The single-vehicle crash killed Gnotsavath and caused a massive explosion that caused chaos as people scrambled out of businesses in the area.

Video submitted by Jacquelyn Johnson shows the fire from a deadly crash when a tanker truck caught fire near Applegate Road and Highway 99 in Atwater.

The driver of a tanker truck full of gasoline died according to the California Highway Patrol, when the vehicle overturned and caught fire near Applegate Road and Highway 99 in Atwater, Calif., on Tuesday, May 23, 2017.

  Comments