Tuesday Jan 25 2011
Big rig drives off Interstate 80
By: Joyia Emard, Loomis News Staff Writer
Driver lost control after avoiding car that cut him off
The driver of a semi-truck pulling a 53-foot trailer is lucky to be alive after he lost control of his vehicle Tuesday morning, Jan. 25, on westbound Interstate 80, just past Newcastle Road. Sergo Sandoze, 55, from New York, was not injured when his truck left the roadway, plowed through two fences, and traveled over a road and water canal before landing on its side in a pasture. "I've been driving for 10 years. This isn't about experience. It's about luck," Sandoze said. Sandoze said he was traveling approximately 55 mph in the slow lane, when a car cut him off and he was forced to swerve to avoid hitting it. David Martinez, California Highway Patrol spokesman, said the accident occurred at 7:07 a.m. when Sandoze lost control of his vehicle and swerved to the right and struck the left front side of a truck that was parked on the right shoulder. He said Sandoze’s vehicle continued off the north side of the roadway and into an open field, where it struck several large boulders and overturned onto its right side. The truck trailer contained dry soy powder. Martinez said traffic on Interstate 80 was not affected by the accident. According to Martinez, as a result of the collision, a small amount of diesel fuel leaked onto the grass field and fire personnel immediately dug drainage ditches in the area to contain the fuel. No fuel was able to escape into the water canal or drains. The accident is still under investigation by the CHP.