SANTA ROSA (CBS SF) – Police on Tuesday said a 10-vehicle collision that occurred Monday morning in north Santa Rosa began when the driver of a dump truck failed to stop at a red light.
The driver, a 45-year-old Sunnyvale man, was driving a 2009 Kenworth Northwest commercial dump truck owned by the Flores Trucking Company of Vallejo west on Fountaingrove Parkway, Lt. Rick Kohut said.
The truck was hauling debris when it drove through a red light at an undetermined speed and struck a 2017 Ford F-150 truck being driven by a 75-year-old Graton woman, heading south on Mendocino Avenue. The driver and a female passenger in her vehicle suffered critical injuries that are not life threatening, Kohut said.
The dump truck then veered to the left and struck five other vehicles that were stopped at a red light in the left turn lanes of the eastbound Mendocino Avenue over-crossing, Kohut said.
The dump truck then crossed into the eastbound turn lanes of the Mendocino Avenue over-crossing and struck a 2014 Ford F-150 in one of the eastbound lanes. The dump truck became entangled with the F-150 and dragged it until it came to a stop on the south curb of the over-crossing, Kohut said.
The dump truck’s fuel tanks then ruptured, causing diesel to flow east down the slope of the over-crossing. An unknown source ignited the fuel causing the dump truck and the Ford F-150 to catch fire. The burning fuel flowed under and also burned four of the vehicles that were struck by the dump truck, Kohut said.
The occupants of the burning vehicles were able to escape, some with assistance, before their vehicles became engulfed in flames, Kohut said.
The Santa Rosa Fire Department extricated two people from their vehicles with the hydraulic tools and controlled the fires with foam within 30 minutes, Battalion Chief Mark Basque said.
The liquid runoff from the collisions was prevented from entering nearby creeks and the sewer system, Basque said.
A 64-year-old Healdsburg woman driving a Honda Odyssey that was hit by the dump truck also suffered critical injuries that are not considered life threatening.
The occupants of the vehicles that were struck by the vehicles that were hit by the dump truck suffered minor injuries or were not injured, police said.
The investigation into the collision remains ongoing, according to police.
California Highway Patrol Officer Jon Sloat said the dump truck will be inspected for a possible mechanical malfunction.
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