Fog a factor in multiple vehicle pileups on Hwy 198

December 11, 2012 12:00:00 AM PST
Tuesday morning's dense fog caused multiple accidents involving cars and big rigs.

Overturned semi-trucks, crushed cars and car parts were scattered all over Highway 198 in Kings County after thick fog made driving conditions nearly impossible. Ten to 12 cars collided during the early morning commute.

CHP Officer Adam Barresi said, "Just not paying attention to the roadway, their speeds, the dense fog out here, it just caused several chain reaction collisions."

It all started when a semi-truck heading west on 198 decided to turn and collided with another semi in the dense fog.

Big rig driver Chris Kopenhefer pulled over to help and found himself in the middle of crashing cars. He said, "That's when I heard all the screeching and the skid marks and started with the crushing of the cars."

Several cars crashed behind him. Fortunately the driver of a black car was not seriously hurt, but was sent to the hospital as a precaution.

"We got pretty lucky, really lucky," Kopenhefer said. "Thank god that no one got real hurt."

Big rig drivers say it is difficult navigating on foggy days.

"Some people drive too fast and it's hard to see," Kopenhefer said. "Your vision is maybe 100, 150 feet."

Truck drivers who stopped at a Traver gas station say driving in the fog means constantly focusing on what's around you and anticipating what's next.

Varinder Singh explained, "But for trucks, they can't stop easily so we have to take care of that and make enough distance between the cars and trucks."

With fog season here, big rig drivers say it's important to remember to slow down and give yourself more room, because in an instant, things can quickly change.


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