SAN JOSE (CBS SF) — A fatal accident involving a Caltrans vehicle on U.S. Highway 101 in San Jose Monday morning left southbound lanes closed for over eight hours.

Highway 101 was reopened by CHP at about 7:15 p.m.

The crash between the Caltrans truck and a pickup truck was reported shortly after 10:30 a.m. and blocked all lanes of southbound 101 near the Brokaw Rd. exit., according to the California Highway Patrol.

According to the CHP, the Caltrans truck was a “shadow” truck for a sweeping crew in the center divide.

“There were sweepers, a shadow truck traveling south in the number 1 lane and the median,” said CHP Officer Ross Lee. “The shadow truck was behind the sweepers, partially in the number 1 lane … It was there to protect the sweepers.”

A Dodge pickup truck then slammed into the back of the Caltrans truck, the CHP said.

“For some unknown reason, a white Dodge traveling in the number 1 lane, we are estimating at 65 mph to 70 mph, collided with the rear of the shadow truck,” said Lee.

The CHP also said a dog that was in the bed of the pickup truck was also killed.

The yellow safety honeycomb device was lowered in the safety position, and absorbed much of the impact, but the pickup driver was killed, said Lee. The driver of the Caltrans truck was taken to the hospital as a precaution.

During the closure, southbound 101 traffic was being diverted at state Highway 87.

Authorities initially estimated the closure would last for a few hours, but it would end up stretching well past the evening commute.

“At this point it will be closed (at the start of the evening commute),” said Ross. “We hope to get it open as soon as we can. We can’t make any determination right now.”

  1. Walter Scott says:

    Yeah well if cal Trans was doing their job they’re pre-warning vehicles would have been placed right so the ascending blind curve wouldn’t have no chance of some one moving back into that lane that was occupied by the service cleaning vehicle. Shame on Caltrain safety they caused an unnecessary death.