Driver of overturned big rig in San Rafael arrested for DUI

SAN RAFAEL (BCN) — The driver of a big-rig that crashed and overturned on U.S. Highway 101 this morning had a blood-alcohol level five times the legal limit of 0.04 percent for commercial vehicles, a California Highway Patrol Officer said this afternoon.

Richard Earl Long, 55, of American Canyon, was taken to Marin General Hospital for treatment of minor injuries, CHP Officer Andrew Barclay said.

Long was arrested at 8:30 a.m. on suspicion of felony DUI causing injury to a passenger, Barclay said. He was booked in the Marin County Jail under $50,000 bail.

The 8 a.m. solo vehicle crash closed three lanes of northbound Highway 101 just north of the Central San Rafael exit and backed up traffic on both sides of the highway, Barclay said.

The flatbed truck had a permanently-mounted crane and the steel I beams it was hauling remained secured to the truck throughout the crash, Barclay said.

According to initial reports, the big-rig was possibly driving recklessly before the crash, Barclay said. It was traveling approximately 55 mph when it drifted onto the shoulder and struck a concrete bridge rail at the beginning of the Central San Rafael viaduct, Barclay said.

The truck overturned onto its passenger side, slid across the freeway and stopped facing south across the No. 1, 2 and 3 lanes, Barclay said.

It took several hours to off-load the steel I beams, upright the truck and tow it, Barclay said. Northbound lanes were backed up beyond Lucky Drive, and the normally heavy southbound morning commute lasted into the late morning as motorists slowed to see the crash scene, Barclay said. All northbound lanes reopened around 11:30 a.m.

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