Semitruck tips over, driver arrested
A semitruck, after pitching on its side Sunday, skidded across four lanes of traffic and scraped along the guardrail before halting to a stop just east of Cave Rock on U.S. Highway 50.
No one was hurt.
Not even the driver, who failed to pass a preliminary sobriety test, according to the Nevada Highway Patrol officers.
The driver, whose name has not yet been released by law enforcement officials, told NHP that he was going 35 to 40 mph around the turn just south of Cave Rock when the truck turned over around 5 p.m.
He was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence and the investigation is still ongoing.
The truck, which was loaded with frozen food, spilled out antifreeze and engine oil onto the highway, which is less than a quarter of a mile from Lake Tahoe’s shoreline.
Tahoe-Douglas Fire Crews worked to contain the spill.
“Nevada Highway Patrol is the agency that decides who will clean up but we’re going through containment procedures,” said Tahoe-Douglas Fire Captain Steve Wetterer. “There’s no threat of it getting into the lake.”
The turn, which some call Deadman’s Curve, has a troublesome reputation.
“It’s just one of those corners with a long history of causing accidents,” said Guy Moss, Tahoe-Douglas battalion chief. “Especially with people who don’t know the road. They get to the turn and when they realize they’re in trouble – it’s too late.”
Todd Taricco, who has lived below the highway near Cave Rock for about seven years, said he has seen an accident at that curve about once every six months.
“Everyone thinks Highway 50 is freeway and it’s not,” he said. “They need to slow it down through here.”
Traffic was definitely slowed down on Sunday.
The turned over truck caused the four-lane highway to be shut down to two lanes for at least three hours.
“When the tow trucks get here, it will get worse because we’ll have to close it off to maybe just one lane,” Moss, the battalion chief, said.
Still with the two lanes closed and the spilled antifreeze and engine oil, Moss said that this is the best type of semitruck turn-over that can be had.
“He didn’t get hurt, nobody else got hurt, the truck up is up against the rail and not blocking all the lanes of traffic – this is as good as it gets,” he said.
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SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — Officials said conversations are occurring daily in regards to reopening U.S. Highway 50, but there is still no estimated date as to when traffic may start flowing again.