NOVATO (CBS SF) — A 43-year-old man killed in a crash with a parked big rig on the side of U.S. Highway 101 in Novato Saturday morning has been identified as Pinole resident Christopher Giavannoli, according to the California Highway Patrol.
Giavannoli was driving his Dodge Ram pickup truck north on Highway 101 near the Atherton Avenue on-ramp in Novato around 6:40 a.m. when for unknown reasons he went off the roadway and slammed into the back of a parked tank trailer, Officer Andrew Barclay said.
He was declared dead at the scene by emergency responders.
The driver of the big rig had pulled over onto the side of the roadway and was sleeping in the rig’s sleeper berth when the crash occurred and was uninjured.
CHP investigators do not believe alcohol was a factor in the crash, but are considering whether Giavannoli might have fallen asleep, suffered a medical emergency or otherwise been seriously distracted.
Big rig drivers pull over in that area to sleep because there is a wide shoulder, Barclay said. Under California state law they cannot drive more than a certain number of hours at a time and must stop when they reach their limit.
The parked big rig was around 18 feet away from the roadway at the time of the crash, meaning that Giavannoli had drifted a long way from the road at the time of the crash, Barclay noted.
“It wasn’t like he just traveled over the line,” he said. “In that area, 101 kind of veers to the left, and it appears he just stayed straight.”
Since the crash occurred on a wide shoulder off of the roadway, there was only a minimal effect on traffic.
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