A double-decker car-carrier had a tire blow out while traveling southbound on Highway 99 in Modesto Tuesday afternoon. The driver of the big-rig lost control of the vehicle, which veered left toward a concrete center divider wall. The truck slammed into a 2002 Toyota Sienna driven by a 64-year-old woman from San Francisco.
The Toyota and the double-decker rig crashed into the concrete divider. The truck broke through the concrete, barreled through shrubs and collided with a concrete bridge pillar in the median. The impact with the pillar caused the rig’s diesel tank to burst into flames. The truck driver and a passenger in the big rig were able to escape from the cab of the truck before the rig became fully engulfed in flames. However, the passenger and the driver of the rig suffered personal injuries in the truck accident.
Authorities say the truck driver was able to kick out the driver’s side window of the truck’s cabin. The driver suffered minor burns and lacerations in the truck accident. The trucker was treated at Memorial Medical Center in Modesto after the wreck and released.
The passenger in the big-rig also was able to escape the burning wreckage, but the passenger was more severely injured. Authorities say the passenger suffered several broken bones and sustained severe burns in the truck accident. The passenger was taken to Doctors Medical Center in Modesto.
The San Francisco woman driving the Toyota miraculously escaped injury in the accident, according to the Visalia Times-Delta.
The accident occurred Tuesday around 3:00 p.m. on Highway 99. The truck accident remains under investigation.
Source: Visalia Times-Delta, “Strathmore man narrowly escapes big rig explosion in Modesto,” Aug. 24, 2011