Big rig driver killed in triple truck fiery crash

Big rig driver killed in triple truck fiery crash »Play Video
A truck driver is killed Wednesday, July 25, 2012, in a crash on Highway 99 in northern Bakersfield,
BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) — A truck driver was killed overnight in a chain-reaction crash that shut down traffic for seven hours on northbound Highway 99 on the northern edge of Bakersfield.

Two semitrucks and a dump truck were in the No. 3 lane, heading north just after midnight Wednesday in a construction zone north of 7th Standard Road. The rear truck driver, who was hauling produce, failed to slow down and plowed into the dump truck in front of him, the California Highway Patrol said.

The impact forced the middle truck's dump trailer, which was carrying cement, to jackknife. It also pushed the middle truck into the lead truck, which was hauling wood pallets.

All three trucks caught fire.

The rear driver was killed in the crash. His name was withheld.

The middle driver, 38-year-old Heriberto Santana, of San Fernando, received minor injuries, the CHP said. The front driver, 36-year-old Julio Becerra, of Salinas, was not injured.

The CHP said it didn't immediately know if the rear driver was impaired with drugs or alcohol.

Traffic for most of the early morning hours was diverted to Highway 65. The No. 1 lane of northbound Hwy. 99 opened shortly after 7 a.m.

Raw video from the scene: