A bicyclist who witnessed a fatal tanker rollover crash in Woodfords, California, last week says that he believes that the truck driver chose to save his life just before he crashed.
The crash happened on Wednesday, May 9, as 46 year old truck driver Gregory S. Brown was hauling a tanker full of bleach solution eastbound on SR-88.
According to the California Highway Patrol, Brown was driving at a high rate of speed and wasn’t able to negotiate the winding curves of the roadway. He eventually lost control completely, crashing off of the highway. The truck and tanker became separated, with the tanker rolling up an embankment and the truck coming to a rest on its roof.
The cause of the crash is still under investigation.
A Carson Valley resident on a bicycle was at the scene of the crash, according to the Record-Courier. The bicyclist says that he was riding up a hill on Highway 88 when Brown’s truck rode by him at a high rate of speed. He said that even though the truck was clearly out of control, “It appeared to me that he tried not to hit me. He was already doomed.”
Much of the load of bleach solution spilled out, sending fumes into the air that prevented rescuers from reaching Brown for nine hours after the crash. He was later pronounced dead at the scene.
Several area homes and businesses were evacuated for the bleach spill.
Part of SR-88 was shut down until around 10:30 a.m. on Thursday.