SONOMA COUNTY (KRON, BCN) — A big-rig driver who died in a crash in Sonoma County Wednesday afternoon did not stop for cars that had stopped ahead of him, according to a California Highway Patrol spokesman.
The driver was identified Thursday by the Sonoma County coroner’s office as Eric Alexander, 43, of Tulare in the Central Valley. The collision happened on Highway 37.
Alexander’s 2012 Freightliner was towing a tanker trailer and collided at 50 mph in the slow lane with the back of a 2011 Mack truck that was towing two empty liquid transport trailers around 3:40 p.m., CHP Officer Andrew Barclay said.
The force of the collision pushed the Mack truck into the stopped vehicles in front of it, including a 2008 Toyota Corolla, 1996 Jeep Cherokee and a 2000 Honda Accord, Barclay said. The cab of the Freightliner detached from the chassis, was propelled onto the right shoulder and stopped.
The Mack truck driver, Jagtar Singh, 56, of Pittsburg, and the drivers of the three smaller vehicles were not injured, while Alexander died at the scene.
Eastbound lanes were closed until for several hours to remove the big-rig. Eastbound traffic drove in the center divider of the highway to bypass the scene, according to Barclay.
Traffic was diverted to Lakeville Highway and back to Highway 37 and state Highway 121. The fast lane opened at 10:20 p.m. and all lanes reopened around midnight, Barclay said.