One killed after truck collides with Caltrans vehicle near Visalia

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A Caltrans official says a Dodge Ram plowed into the back of their truck - pinning one of the workers in between the two vehicles and killing the passenger of the Dodge. (KFSN)

One person is dead and three others injured after a pickup truck slammed into a Caltrans truck east of Visalia Friday.

One of those Caltrans workers suffered major injuries, while the passenger in the pickup truck died.

The California Highway Patrol says two CalTrans workers were just finishing up some repair work on a guardrail.

When, for unknown reasons, a Caltrans official says a Dodge Ram plowed into the back of their truck - pinning one of the workers in between the two vehicles.

The Caltrans truck then moved forward and hit the other worker before sliding down a ditch.

"The Dodge pickup continued eastbound, overturned, and the passenger of the Dodge sustained fatal injuries," Sgt. Chris Webber with the CHP said.

The driver of the pickup had just minor injuries and gave a statement on scene. So, did the Caltrans maintenance supervisor.

But his partner was rushed to Kaweah Delta before being flown to Community Regional Medical center in Fresno where he was last listed in critical condition.

"These were two veteran Caltrans maintenance workers with a lot of years of experience on the roadway," Cory Burkharth with Caltrans said.

Burkharth says the workers had flashing amber lights on and were wearing reflective material and hard hats.

"We want motorists to know that no air bag, no seat belt is going to save our Caltrans workers when they're outside of their vehicles performing roadwork," he said. "And that's why it's up to motorists to do their part to keep our motorists safe."

"It's the start of the holiday weekend so we do have extra volumes of traffic and we would ask that everyone pay attention to their surroundings, mind the distracted driving and obviously impaired driving," Webber said.

Alcohol or drugs are not believed to be a factor in this crash, and investigators believe those in the pickup were wearing seatbelts.

For hours, eastbound traffic on Highway 198 was rerouted as CHP's Multidisciplinary Accident Investigation Team surveyed the scene in an effort to determine what happened before the crash.
Related Topics:
newstulare countytrafficcrashtraffic fatalitiesVisalia
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