Sunday, April 20, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Vallejo big-rig crash snarls traffic, kills 1

Vallejo truck crash

Vallejo firefighters mop up the burned wreckage of an ACE Hardware big rig truck that went over the side of the westbound Highway 37 overpass at Highway 29 in a fatal accident early Thursday morning in Vallejo. According to California Highway Patrol Officer Chris Parker, the big rig was involved in a collision with a pickup truck while traveling west on Highway 37 at 6:40 a.m., which caused the truck to go off the overpass. Witnesses traveling on Highway 29, including an off-duty paramedic, pulled the driver of the big rig out of the cab as a small fire started. The driver was taken to Kaiser Permanente Vallejo but did not survive. The driver of the pickup truck was not injured. The big rig was also transporting a hazardous material, prompting a response from the Solano County Hazardous Materials Response Team. Westbound Highway 37 and southbound Highway 29 were closed for several hours during the cleanup and investigation. (Brad Zweerink/Daily Republic)

VALLEJO — Traffic was at a standstill Thursday morning between Fairfield and Vallejo following a big-rig crash that killed the driver.

In the crash reported about 6:42 a.m., a Dodge pickup collided with a Freightliner tractor-trailer on westbound Highway 37 at Highway 29, according to the California Highway Patrol. Both vehicles veered to the side and collided with the concrete rail on the shoulder. The Dodge pickup stayed on the road but the big rig fell off the overpass onto the ground below and burst into flames.

William Ballard, 43, of Roseville, who was driving the Ace Hardware tractor-trailer, was pulled from the wreckage by passers-by and died later at Kaiser Vallejo Hospital, according to CHP.

The driver of the pickup, Jacob Goguen, was also taken to the hospital.

The westbound lanes of Highway 37 were re-opened at 9:36 a.m. The first and second lanes of northbound Highway 29 were shut down until 12:45 p.m.

Several agencies responded to the scene. The county hazmat team determined that no hazardous materials were released in the accident, according to CHP. Crews removed the tractor-trailer about 2:30 p.m. and cleaned up debris.

Alcohol and drugs are not suspected to be involved in the crash, according to CHP.

Anyone with information of the collision or witnesses are asked to call the CHP office in Fairfield at 428-2100.

Heather Ah San contributed to this report.

Reach Amy Maginnis-Honey at 427-6957 or amaginnis@dailyrepublic.net. Follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/amaginnisdr. 

Amy Maginnis-Honey

Amy Maginnis-Honey

Amy Maginnis-Honey joined the staff of the Daily Republic in 1980. She’ll tell you she was only 3 at the time. Over the past three decades she’s done a variety of jobs in the newsroom. Today, she covers arts and entertainment and writes for the Living and news pages.
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