A 52-year-old Sacramento area man is dead after a serious multiple-vehicle crash in Modesto. California Highway Patrol officers report that the crash happened around 11 a.m. yesterday when a 25-year-old Turlock woman sideswiped a truck during a lane change on Highway 99.
The 36-year-old truck driver lost control of his vehicle and ran into the concrete barrier of the highway. The box truck then overturned.
The collision with the concrete barrier sent large chunks of cement flying through the southbound lanes of the road. Several drivers ran off of the road to avoid the concrete spray, but unfortunately one 52-year-old man driving a Ford was killed when a piece of concrete slammed into his windshield.
The Modesto Bee reports that the man’s Ford kept traveling down the road and eventually crashed into the center barrier. Traffic was snarled in both directions as traffic accident investigators and emergency crew descended upon the scene. The 25-year-old woman who started the accident and the truck driver were treated for minor personal injuries.
It is unclear whether the deceased Ford driver’s death will ultimately be attributed to a possible design defect in the road. Concrete barriers that are inadequately designed may cause fatalities such as this and make the roadway more hazardous than if a safer alternative barrier was used. Possible alternative barriers include ones made out of heavy-duty plastic or concrete barriers laced with metal netting to catch any flying debris.
Source: Modesto Bee, “Dislodged concrete from crash kills Highway 99 driver in Modesto,” Erin Tracy, Aug. 9, 2012