In Los Angeles County, police have taken into custody and booked big rig truck driver Marcos Costa with one count of felony reckless driving and one count of gross vehicular manslaughter. The 43-year-old was apprehended for his role in a deadly Southern California truck crash that occurred during rush hour in La Canada Flintridge on Wednesday.
Costa reportedly lost control of his car hauler on Highway 2 while trying to navigate a turn at the intersection of Angeles Crest Highway and Foothill Boulevard. His double-decker trailer, which was carrying cars, struck five other vehicles before driving into a bookstore and crashing into a nail salon, where it pinned the owner. A wine store and a small strip mall building also sustained damages.
12 people were injured in the Los Angeles County multi-vehicle crash. Meantime, Palmdale resident Angel Jorge Posca and his daughter Angelina died at the scene. Their car had been pushed 150 feet during the truck collision.
Costa is cooperating with authorities. He reportedly had come over the San Gabriel Forest and onto Angeles Forest Highway where trucks are not allowed in certain areas. There were also signs along the road notifying semi-trucks that they were banned. Trucks, however, are allowed in the area where the deadly collision happened.
The truck driver reportedly told police he took this route because it was designated by GPS as the shortest route. He says he would have chosen a different route if he'd known he was going to be driving on a windy, mountainous road but that it was too late to turn around once he got on the highway. He also says that there may have been a problem with his brakes right before the accident happened.
In September 2008, another large truck that was experiencing brake problems struck a number of motor vehicles close to the intersection where Wednesday's accident happened. City officials have contacted the Department of Transportation to complain about the safety issues at this intersection.
Large Truck Crashes
Large truck accidents can result in catastrophic injuries for pedestrians and other motorists. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 75% of people who die in large truck accidents were occupants of the other vehicles. 2% of the truck crash victims were not in a truck or the other vehicle involved in the collision. Out of every nine traffic deaths, one death will have occurred during a large truck accident.
Truck driver arrested in deadly La Canada crash, Los Angeles Times, April 2, 2009
Sheriff: Truck Driver Ignored Warning Signs before La Canada Crash, KTLA, April 2, 2009
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