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Choking Big-Rig Driver Causes Deadly Pileup On I-80 Near Davis

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Damage left at a deadly crash scene on I-80 near Davis. (CBS)

Damage left at a deadly crash scene on I-80 near Davis. (CBS)

DAVIS (CBS SF) – Two people were killed Thursday morning when a big-rig driver choked on food and lost consciousness, striking three vehicles on Interstate 80 in Davis, a California Highway Patrol officer said Thursday afternoon.

The deceased were in a westbound BMW that was struck by the eastbound big-rig that crashed through the center divider guardrail into the westbound lanes of the highway near the Solano-Yolo County line, CHP Officer Chris Parker said.

The male driver of the empty commercial trailer was eating as he drove in the far right lane of eastbound I-80 near Old Davis Road around 10:35 a.m., CHP Officer Chris Parker said.

When the driver choked on food and lost consciousness, the big-rig drifted to the right then veered sharply to the left across all eastbound lanes of the highway, Parker said.

The big-rig struck an eastbound Toyota Corolla and a Volkswagen station wagon causing minor to moderate injuries to their drivers, Parker said.

The big-rig driver regained consciousness when the big-rig drove into the center divider of the highway and through the guardrail, Parker said.

The big-rig then collided with a westbound BMW, causing both vehicles to burst into flames, Parker said.

The two people in the BMW were killed on impact, Parker said.

The big-rig driver was able to get out of the big-rig, and he and the drivers of the Toyota and Volkswagen were taken to the UC Davis Medical Center, Parker said. All three suffered minor to moderate injuries, Parker said.

The Davis Fire Department responded to the crash and extinguished the fires in both vehicles, Parker said. Both deceased occupants were then found, Parker said.

The crash closed the eastbound and westbound lanes of the highway, Parker said.

The eastbound lanes reopened at 12:55 and both westbound lanes were still closed at 5 p.m., Parker said.

Caltrans was evaluating the condition of the asphalt at the crash site late Thursday afternoon, Parker said.

Officials with Caltrans said they expect to reopen all lanes of Interstate 80 by 2 a.m. Friday.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco and Bay City News Service. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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