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LODD News

California: Cabazon tow truck driver struck, killed by big rig on I-10

Sunday, August 12, 2018

A tow truck driver was struck and killed by a big rig on Interstate 10 in Cabazon on Tuesday morning August 7, 2018. The fatality was reported just after 9 a.m. on the westbound I-10, west of Haughen Lehmann Way. The 50-year-old victim was found by emergency personnel lying partially in the slow lane of the freeway, according to the California Highway Patrol.

The Cabazon resident was on duty with local tow company Stagecoach Towing when he parked his flatbed on the north shoulder of the freeway and got out of the truck, according to CHP Officer Darren Meyer, who said it was unknown why the driver pulled over, as there were no disabled vehicles needing service in the area.

As he was reentering his truck, the man and the open tow truck door were struck by a semi driven by 52-year-old Riverside resident Marco Rodriguez, who “allowed his vehicle to drift onto the north shoulder,” Meyer said.

The victim was thrown from the side of his truck onto the slow lane. The officer said a passing motorist stopped and pulled the victim out of the freeway lanes. The man, whose name was withheld pending family notification, was pronounced dead at the scene.

The cause of the crash remained under investigation, but Meyer said alcohol and drugs have been ruled out as contributing factors.

CHP investigators also conducted a mechanical inspection of the big rig at the CHP’s Desert Hills Inspection Facility, though any conclusions made as a result of that inspection were not immediately disclosed

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