Truck driver’s last act may have saved man
A bicyclist, who witnessed the rollover of a tanker truck in Woodfords, said he believes the driver tried to avoid hitting him just before Wednesday’s collision.
The Carson Valley man, who asked not to be identified, said he was riding up the hill when the truck came by him at a high rate of speed, just before hitting the curve near Woodfords Junction.
“It appeared to me that he tried not to hit me,” he said. “He was already doomed.”
Truck driver Gregory S. Brown, 46, was killed when the 2014 Freightliner he was driving rolled near Crystal Springs in Alpine County at about 10 a.m.
An estimated 5,000 gallons of hypochlorite solution spilled onto the road and the shoulder. The tractor rolled and landed on its roof, crushing it.
The concentrated solution related to bleach sent fumes into the air that prevented rescuers from checking on Brown for almost nine hours.
According to information released by the California Highway Patrol on Thursday, Brown was traveling east on Highway 88 at a high rate of speed and was not able to negotiate the curves. He lost control of the vehicle and overturned. The tanker trailer came loose from the cab and rolled up the embankment on the north side of the highway and over a small rise.
Brown owned the tractor and was driving for Watson Brothers Trucking out of Manteca, Calif., according to the CHP.
Nearby residents and Diamond Valley School were ordered to shelter in place. Emergency personnel were not able to approach the vehicle until 7 p.m.
Personnel from the Nevada National Guard’s chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear enhanced response force from the 92nd Civil Support Team responded to the wreck.
An unknown amount of the chemical entered a dry creek bed on the north side of Highway 88. The ditch runs under the road and eventually into the Carson River. Fish & Wildlife and other agencies responded to the wreck.
Highway 88 was closed from Picketts to Woodfords junctions until 10:40 a.m. Thursday.