An intoxicated truck driver crashed last month on US 101 near San Rafael, temporarily blocking three lanes south of the Central San Rafael exit in Marin County. According to the California Highway Patrol, the trucker was driving with a blood alcohol content five times the legal limit for commercial vehicles and more than double the limit if he were driving a passenger car. How could anyone who literally could not see straight get into a truck and try to drive down the freeway, even in the morning? And how could a person still be that intoxicated that early in the morning? Thankfully, the two occupants of the truck suffered only minor personal injuries, and no one else was injured or killed.
CHP responded to the crash, which was reported at approximately 8:00 am, where they found a flatbed truck with a permanently mounted crane lying on its side blocking the numbers one through three lanes of the highway.
“Our preliminary investigation reveals the truck, and only vehicle involved in this collision, was traveling on US-101 N/B at approximately 55 MPH when the driver, due to his alcohol intoxication, allowed his vehicle to drift onto the shoulder and strike the concrete bridge rail at the beginning of the Central San Rafael Viaduct,”
Marin CHP officials said in a news release. “The force of this impact caused the truck to overturn onto its passenger side and slide across the freeway and come to a stop facing south and blocking the three left lanes.”
Two people were inside the truck at the time of the crash, and were transported to Marin General Hospital with minor injuries. It was there they discovered the driver was likely under the influence of alcohol while behind the wheel.
“While obtaining the statement, officers observed objective symptoms of alcohol intoxication and placed the driver under arrest for DUI,” the CHP’s news release said. “The driver’s blood alcohol content was more the 5 times the legal limit for commercial vehicles (.04%) and more than 2 ½ times the legal limit if he had been driving a passenger car (.08%).”
Officials have said that they will book him into the Marin County jail when released from the hospital.
“This preventable, DUI collision not only caused injuries to the parties involved, but had a major impact on this morning’s commute,” Marin CHP officials said. “Traffic northbound backed up beyond Lucky Dr. and the normally heavy southbound commute lasted into the late morning as rubber neckers slowed to see all the activity on the northbound side.”
As a Marin County truck accident attorney, I am still shocked at how horribly reckless some drivers can be. While millions of miles are being driven by responsible truck drivers all across this State and Country, we still receive calls about eighteen wheelers operated by drivers who are intoxicated, or who are lacking the basic competence to drive a big rig.