According to the California Highway Patrol, the deadly collision involved two big-rigs and at least five other vehicles that were traveling eastbound on the highway, near Lakeville Highway, causing a massive block of the eastbound lanes. CHP identified the driver as Eric Dante Alexander, of Tulare. According to the CHP, Mr. Alexander was behind the wheel of a 2012 Freightliner, towing a load of vinegar at about 50 miles per hour, as he approached traffic sitting at a standstill. Mr. Alexander did not stop, slamming his truck into the back of a 2011 Mack big-rig truck, causing the chain reaction.
Ambulances and a CHP helicopter were all on scene after the crash, which kept the highway closed for at least four hours.
“Eastbound 37 remained closed for several at Lakeville as officers clear vehicles and complete their investigation” – according to logs from the CHP.
This report is chilling since this roadway is a major thoroughfare for Bay Area travelers heading to the Wine Country and also to Highway 80 and on to destinations such as Sacramento. This intersection has a stop light that can be seen from a considerable distance and I wonder how Mr. Alexander couldn’t see that he needed to stop? Was he distracted behind the wheel? Was there some product defect that made the truck impossible to stop in time. The one most dangerous aspect of this roadway is that motorists are usually traveling at freeway speeds, and this intersection is smack dab in the middle of two fast roadways. There was a time when the fatalities on Highway 37 were so numerous that Californians named this stretch of road “Blood Alley.” Sadly, it would seem that the name still sticks today.