Around 5:07 p.m., highway patrol received a call for a tractor-trailer hitting another parked on the highway’s eastbound shoulder between Bird Road and Interstate 5.
CHP officer Jim Claire said the driver of the parked truck, James Chincarini, 61, of Stockton, was parked for more than three hours because of mechanical difficulties.
Claire said the second tractor-trailer was traveling east when driver Harold Cartozian, 65, of Fresno, reportedly drifted off the road and struck the back of the parked truck.
The parked truck was a double, hauling two loads of dirt. The glancing impact by the empty tractor-trailer sliced open the side of the parked truck, rupturing a diesel gas tank, Claire said.
“It ripped it completely off,” Claire said. “Approximately 70 gallons of diesel covered (lanes) one, two and the right shoulder into the dirt.”
The driver of the parked tractor-trailer complained of pain and was taken by ambulance to Sutter Tracy Community Hospital, while the driver of the empty truck was flown by medical helicopter to a hospital in Modesto as a precaution due to a possible head injury, Claire said.
An update on their injuries was unavailable Wednesday, Sept. 26.
One eastbound lane of the highway was closed at 7:30 p.m. by Caltrans to clean up the diesel spill, Claire said. It remained closed until 1:30 a.m., while a special hazardous materials team from Fresno cleaned up the contaminated dirt adjacent to the road.
No citations are expected to be given to either driver, officers reported.