The California Highway Patrol (CHP) says that a tanker truck driver died in a crash that happened as he was trying to avoid a turning car.
The crash happened just before noon on Saturday, September 7, in South Lake Tahoe, California.
CHP says that a 36 year old truck driver was hauling a loaded tanker full of gasoline eastbound on Highway 50 when a 28 year old Toyota Prius driver traveling north on Elks Club Drive attempted to turn onto westbound Highway 50, directly in front of the tanker truck.
Police say that the truck driver hit his brakes and swerved to try to avoid the Prius but crashed into the left side of the car.
The tanker rolled onto its side and slid into a guardrail.
Shortly after the crash, “a fire ignited and the tanker truck became fully engulfed in flames”, according to the crash report, sending large amounts of heavy black smoke up into the sky.
Police say that the truck driver wasn’t able to get out of his vehicle and died at the scene.
The Prius driver was taken to the hospital for treatment of a broken femur.
Multiple agencies responded to the scene, including Lake Valley Fire Protection District, South Lake Tahoe Fire, Tahoe Douglas Fire, eastern Alpine County Fire, and North Lake Fire, Cal Fire, USFS, South Lake Tahoe Police, and El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office.
Police have not released the identities of either driver.
CHP says that no one has been cited at this time but that they haven’t ruled out filing charges pending the results of their investigation. CHP says that the Prius driver’s turn violated the tanker truck driver’s right-of-way.
Police say that they do not believe that drugs or alcohol were a factor in the crash.