Monday, March 17, 2014

Dump Truck speed causes accident

   According to CHP Paul C. Holt, Jr. (59) of Groveland was driving his 1978 Peterbilt dump truck, hauling a flatbed trailer with a 24,000 pound forklift westbound on Hwy 120 west of Whites Gulch Road at no less than 70 MPH (55 MPH speed limit) down a decline grade.

   The trailer was fishtailing severely and Holt was intermittently braking but not reducing his speed.

   Holt was attempting to maintain the same speed and position behind another party ahead him, the owner of the forklift.

   Bradley DeBoer (54) of Modesto  was driving his 2012 Chevrolet 2500 pickup, unknowingly approaching Holt eastbound on Hwy 120 at approximately 55 MPH on the other side of the curve.

   The violent fishtailing of the trailer caused the chains and load binders to snap, pitching the forklift off the trailer.

   The forklift landed upon the guardrail on the north shoulder of Hwy 120, bounced and cratered the asphalt shoulder and bounced down the north embankment of Hwy 120, landing upside down.

   Holt lost control of the dump truck as it veered across the eastbound lane of Hwy 120 and towards the north shoulder.

   The dump truck then came into view of DeBoer as he traveled through the curve and he swerved to the left to avoid the dump truck and subsequently struck the now empty trailer being towed by the dump truck.

   The trailer was ripped in two and the dump truck and the two pieces of the trailer overturned and came to rest at the bottom of a seasonal creekbed off the south shoulder of Hwy 120.

   The Chevy pickup came to rest on its wheels in the eastbound lane and south shoulder of Hwy 120.

    Holt was not wearing his seatbelt and was transported to Sonora Regional Medical Center for moderate injuries.

   All vehicles received major or total damage.  The recovery process for all vehicles required approximately 9 hours.

   During the recovery process oil and diesel fuel spilled from the dump truck into the seasonal creekbed, which the Department of Fish and Wildlife responded to handle the hazardous material.

   Hwy 120 had one-way traffic control for approximately 12 hours. Caltrans replaced approximately 396' of guardrail and repaved the damaged asphalt.

   Drugs or alcohol are not believed to be a factor in this collision. Various alleged traffic related charges are pending against Holt.

   Neither the three passengers, all of Modesto, nor the driver of the Chevy pickup were injured in this collision.

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