SANTA CLARA COUNTY (CBS SF) — The Santa Cruz man killed in an 11-vehicle accident involving a big-rig that injured seven people Thursday on state Highway 17 south of Los Gatos was 25-year-old Daniel McGuire, the Santa Clara County medical examiner’s office reported Friday.
McGuire had been partially ejected after his car crashed in the northbound lane near Bear Creek Road where a big-rig jackknifed at around 7:50 a.m. Thursday, California Highway Patrol Officer Ross Lee said.
Seven people were transported to a hospital for treatment, six with minor injuries and one reported in critical condition with a lacerated liver, but that victim will likely be released today, Lee said.
CHP said the driver of a big rig pulling a double load of sand lost control while going northbound on Highway 17 causing a chain reaction crash before jumping the guardrail and ending up on Old Santa Cruz Highway frontage road.
Three of the vehicles were damaged so badly that they trapped people inside.
The CHP’s Multi Disciplinary Accident Investigation Team is conducting the investigation into the crash and officers cannot say definitively yet whether the accident was the result of a brake failure in big-rig, Lee said.
Witnesses told officers that they saw smoke coming from the truck’s brakes, but the CHP’s team still needs to do more legwork, such interviewing the big-rig’s owner and examining the truck’s maintenance records, Lee said.
Investigators will also try to determine if the big-rig’s driver, who was not injured in the crash, was trying to slow down after seeing traffic in front on the highway and had hit the brakes as the truck was headed downhill, according to Lee.
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