Starbucks semi slides down Emerald Bay during Tahoe snowstorm |

Starbucks semi slides down Emerald Bay during Tahoe snowstorm

A Welcomes tow truck winches a semi back onto Highway 89 after it went over the side at Emerald Bay.

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. – On Wednesday evening, Nov. 2, an 18-wheel semi-truck was traveling north on SR-89 without tire chains. Driving in severe snow conditions, upon braking the truck driver began to slide on the steep slope; and shortly thereafter, the rig hit a stalled car ahead. The truck driver and his passenger quickly jumped out and while the truck hit the disabled vehicle ahead during its slide, there were no reported injuries.

The abandoned semi-truck continued to slide down the steep road and resulted in falling down the cliff adjacent to Eagle Falls, coming to a complete stop 60 feet below the road down the side of the mountain.

A day after the accident on Thursday, a tow truck driver, along with local authorities, arrived at the scene in efforts to retrieve the semi-truck. The tow truck’s chain broke during the effort, and after a failed attempt at getting the truck from the embankment below the highway, local authorities are working on getting the truck back to safety Friday, Nov. 4.

“As of now, the road is going to be shut down and fully closed for a 4-mile stretch around the Emerald Bay/Inspiration Point area while they try and retrieve the truck,” Tim Hoenig, CHP South Lake Tahoe officer said.

SR-89 is closed in both directions as emergency crews are working towards retrieving the truck, which according to CHP, was carrying 20,000 pounds of Starbucks Coffee products. For more information and updated road conditions, visit the CalTrans QuickMap mobile app or website for more information.

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