As road crews swept away the wreckage, investigators looked around at what was left. The California Highway Patrol says five big rigs crashed into each other on Highway 166 near New Cuyama, killing 45 year old Elias Garcia from Bakersfield.
“It appears that it initially began as a tractor-trailer combination was driving in the east bound lanes and drifted over into the west bound lanes, colliding into one tractor trailer as well as four others,” explains CHP Officer James Ferguson.
The crashed caused one of the trucks to leak nearly 40 gallons of diesel fuel onto the highway early Tuesday morning.
“Fortunately we still have where the diesel fuel is blocked off where traffic can’t drive on there; Cal Trans and fire [departments] came out here and poured absorbent on it so there’s not a hazardous issue to the public at this time,” Ferguson says.
This is the second crash in the past week on Highway 166. On Labor Day, two children died and six were injured in a two car collision.
“Unfortunately I can’t speak to why it’s so deadly – it’s kind of subjective,” says Ferguson.
The CHP says it will continue to patrol 166 and try to keep the highway safe.