At least one person didn’t make it over the hill this morning

I was on my way to the office sitting on the bus when the driver of a gravel truck lost control and demolished five or six other vehicles a couple of miles in front of me.

Highway 17 at Idyllwild

The crash took place near Bear Creek Road on Highway 17. Santa Clara County dispatched at least five ambulances, an air ambulance, and the coroner :-(.

My comments in the log below are in italics.

1183-Trfc Collision-Unkn Inj
— Jul 10 2014 7:51AM BIG RIG VS 5 VEHS
— Jul 10 2014 7:52AM BLKING BOTH LNS
— Jul 10 2014 7:53AM PER ANOTHER BIG RIG LOST BRAKES
— Jul 10 2014 7:53AM -Problem changed from 1183-Trfc Collision-Unkn Inj to 1179-Trfc Collision-1141 Enrt by CHP
— Jul 10 2014 7:53AM SC PARK RANGER 1097 (Santa Clara County Park Ranger on scene)
— Jul 10 2014 7:53AM 1 PRTY TRAPPED IN SIL VEH (Silver Vehicle)
— Jul 10 2014 7:54AM LNS BLOCKED (Lanes Blocked)
— Jul 10 2014 7:54AM PER WITNESS – BIG RIG BRAKES WERE SMOKING PRIOR TO THE TC
— Jul 10 2014 7:54AM BIG RIG VS SEVERAL
— Jul 10 2014 7:58AM CMS ACTIVATED, PLS UPDATE LANE STATUS WHEN UNITS 1097 THX (CMS are the overhead electronic signs, 1097 = on scene or arrived)
— Jul 10 2014 7:59AM 1185 FOR JACKNIFED BIGRIG – BOTH LANES BLOCKED
— Jul 10 2014 8:02AM 1039 FINISH LINE TOW 408-980-9777 *100
— Jul 10 2014 8:11AM 1039 SIGN TRUCK SUP
— Jul 10 2014 8:11AM -SC SO/HAS LIFE FLIGHT ENRT AND APPROX 5 1141’S ENRT (SCSO = Santa Clara County Sheriff Office, 1141 = ambulances)
— Jul 10 2014 8:13AM 1039 DOTCC LINE 39
— Jul 10 2014 8:15AM 1039 CORONER (Fatality)
— Jul 10 2014 8:16AM ^***ISSUE SIGALERT*** NB SR17 JSO BEAR CREEK RD ALL LANES CLOSED DUE TO TRAFFIC COLLISION UNK ETO (Unknown Estimated Time to Open)
— Jul 10 2014 8:21AM MON UNIT IS 1097 REQ MAIT AND DOT FOR HARD CLOSURE
— Jul 10 2014 8:22AM A24-083 ALL LANES BLKD // REQG SANTA CRUZ TO TURN TRAFFIC AROUND AT THE SUMMIT // CLOSED APPROX 6 HOURS
— Jul 10 2014 8:23AM A24-083 TRYING TO GET ALL TRAFFIC TURNED AROUND
— Jul 10 2014 8:23AM 1039 CS
— Jul 10 2014 8:24AM A24-281 TURNING TRAFFIC AROUND TO MAKE ROOM FOR LIFT FLIGHT (Clearing highway to make room for air ambulance landing)
— Jul 10 2014 8:24AM COPY, 1039 DOTCC
— Jul 10 2014 8:26AM 1039 MONTEREY COMM // STARTING UNITS FOR 1184 (Santa Clara County and Santa Cruz County are in different CHP districts. Contacted Monterey Region district for traffic control help on Highway 17)
— Jul 10 2014 8:29AM A24-110 BOTH NB LANES AND #1 SB CLOSED
— Jul 10 2014 8:30AM A24-281 DIVERTING TRAFFIC AT HEBARD
— Jul 10 2014 8:30AM 1039 DOT-CC
— Jul 10 2014 8:31AM 1039 SJ OFC / SGT ENRT FROM OFC
— Jul 10 2014 8:32AM -FINISHLINE TOW IS LL REQ BEST ACCESS- STUCK IN STOPPED TRAFFIC (Tow truck stuck in traffic)
— Jul 10 2014 8:34AM DOT-CC ADVISED ETA 20 MIN
— Jul 10 2014 8:35AM ^***UPDATE SIGALERT***BOTH NB LANES AND THE #1 LANE SB ON SR17 ARE CLOSED ETO FOR ALL LANES IS 1430HRS NB TRAFFIC IS BEING DIVERTED TO HEBARD RD
— Jul 10 2014 8:38AM -MONT CHP WANT TO CONFIRM TC IS AT NB 17 JSO BEAR CREEK (Monterey region CHP confirming location of traffic collission)
— Jul 10 2014 8:42AM A24-171 PER 110 1023 ON BIG RIG 1185 // PER FINISHLINE DRIVER ALREADY 97 (Tow truck on scene, waiting to access crashed big rig)
— Jul 10 2014 8:44AM 1039 26-S5 FOR 1021 TO 24-L2
— Jul 10 2014 8:44AM A24-171 1039 MONTEREY FOR S UNIT TO 1021 L2 // L2 ALREADY CALLED IN TO MONTEREY (Telephone message for “L2”)
— Jul 10 2014 8:49AM 110 RQEG SO TO ASSIST W/ 1184 // TURNING TRAFFIC AROUND (Request to Sheriff Office to help with traffic control)
— Jul 10 2014 8:53AM 24-L2 SANTA CRUZ SGT IS WORKING W/ DOT TO GET TRAFFIC DIVERTED OFF TO OLD SANTA CRUZ ROAD
— Jul 10 2014 8:54AM A24-087M DIVERTING TRAFFIC OFF AT SR9 PLEASE UPDATE CMS SIGNS
— Jul 10 2014 8:59AM -RP IN GRY MERZ E420 IS RIGHT BEFORE TC / HAS NOT MOVED SINCE TC // IS LATE FOR DOCTOR APPOINTMENT THAT SHE NEEDS A VERY IMPORTANT TREATMENT FOR // IS VEHS RIGHT BEFORE ABLE TO BE DIVERTED – (Somebody stuck in traffic calling to say she’s late for her important doctor’s appointment)
— Jul 10 2014 9:00AM 1039 MONTEREY COMM RE LINE 93
— Jul 10 2014 9:07AM A24-281 NEED UNIT ON SB SIDE TO HOLD TRAFFIC AT BEAR CREEK // WILL BE SENDING 1141 WWAY IN MID LANES // 85 CPYS
— Jul 10 2014 9:07AM A24-281 1141 WILL BE HEADING NB IN SB #1 LANE
— Jul 10 2014 9:09AM -PER LINE 96 / ARE VEHS THAT ARE RIGHT BEFORE TC BEING DIVERTED SOON?
— Jul 10 2014 9:12AM -LL W/ SANTA CRUZ***INQ IF BOULDER CREEK TO SB 17 IS OPEN
— Jul 10 2014 9:23AM A24-085 ADVS NOTIFY 110M SB 17 CLOSED JNO BEAR CREEK AT THIS TIME FOR 1141S HEADING NB IN SB LANES // 110M, CPSY (Southbound 17 closed for ambulances going northbound in the southbound lanes)
— Jul 10 2014 9:25AM -SANTA CRUZ METRO BUS REQ UNIT FOR ASST – ADV’D IS 1125 IN THE SLOW LN / NB 17 AT REDWOOD ESTATES – UNABLE TO MOVE / TA – APPX 30 PEOPLE ON BOARD (This wasn’t my bus – I was stuck in a later bus a couple of miles behind this one)
— Jul 10 2014 9:26AM COPY LINE 112, 1039 DOTCC FOR INFO / CMS UPDATED FOR THE SB
— Jul 10 2014 9:35AM COPY, 1039 DOTCC
— Jul 10 2014 9:45AM A24-110 ALMOST ALL CIVILIAN VEHS CLEARED FROM RDWY THAT WERE STUCK IN BACK UP AT IDYLWILD // EMERGENCY VEHS WILL BE ABLE TO ACCESS IN LESS THAN 5
— Jul 10 2014 9:50AM SUPERVISOR WILL 1021 CAMPBELLS TOW
— Jul 10 2014 9:52AM CAMPBELLS TOW CAN HANDLE BIG RIG TOW EVIDENCE
— Jul 10 2014 9:52AM – CAMPBELLS TOW CAN HANDLE BIG RIG TOW EVIDENCE
— Jul 10 2014 9:52AM A24-681 PLS INQ IF CAMPBELLS TOW CAN HANDLE BIG RIG EVIDENCE TOW // IF SO PLS 1022 FINISH LINE // OTHERWISE WILL USE FINISH LINE
— Jul 10 2014 9:57AM A24-110 24-110– WE HAVE A FSP UNIT 1097 — ASKING PERM FOR US TO KEEP HIM HERE FOR SEVERAL HRS PLS ADV (FSP = Freeway Service Patrol, i.e. the courtesy tow service)
— Jul 10 2014 10:01AM -CHP SANTA CRUZ UNIT ADVZD VEHS GETTING ON FROM OTHER NB STRERETS AND RAMPS PASSED SUMMIT REQ CT DIST 4 TO CLOSE THE NB ENTRANCES TO 17/ PER DIST 4 THEY ARE SPREAD THIN AND REQ CHP UNITS TO DO CLOSURES
— Jul 10 2014 10:06AM GG-MAIT1 IS SB 680 AT SCOTTS CREEK — WHAT IS BEST ACC ,, UNITS ARE UNABLE DO NOT GO PASS THE BEAR CRK BRIDGE (Another tow company stuck in traffic)

Video from the crash scene at KION.

One comment

  • July 10, 2014 - 4:31 pm | Permalink

    To paraphrase the troll comments we’ve ALL seen on articles involving bikes and cars: “…battle between the car and the GRAVEL TRUCK will almost always end with the GRAVEL TRUCK winning. So again, you might be “right,” but you might also be dead.” So perhaps we should ban cars from the road “for their own safety?”

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