One person was killed and two others seriously injured after a truck driver slammed on his brakes and caused a chain-reaction freeway accident Friday morning in Indio.
• A truck driver slammed on his brake and forced the big-rig behind him to swerve.
• The second truck hit a couple of cars and jackknifed across the freeway, where it was hit by a third truck.
• One person died and four others were hospitalized, two with critical injuries.
California Highway Patrol Officer Ramon Perez said investigators were still trying to figure out why 50-year-old Jaswinder Singh of Madera suddenly slammed on his big-rig’s brakes, forcing the truck behind him — driven by 52-year-old Howard Sands of Tempe, Arizona – to swerve to the left.
Sands’ truck sideswiped Singh’s rig and then crashed into a 2011 Dodge, driven by 53-year-old Harry Griffith of Redwood City, according to KESQ News. Griffith died on impact.
Sands’ truck continued moving to the left, and sideswiped a 2008 Jaguar in the fast lane before it crashed into the center median guard rail and jackknifed across the freeway.
A third vehicle crashed into the jackknifed big-rig, and then a fourth vehicle skidded off the right side of the freeway and down an embankment.
Riverside County Fire Department spokeswoman Cheri Patterson told the Southwest Riverside News Network that authorities deemed the wreck a “mass casualty incident.”
Four patients were transported to Desert Regional Medical Center in Palm Springs, two with critical injuries and one each with moderate and minor injuries, Patterson said. Sands and one of the other drivers, 61-year-old Stephen Dehn of Palm Springs, were airlifted via helicopter to the hospital.
Singh and the two occupants of the Jaguar — 81-year-old Henry Robinett and 83-year-old Donna Robinett, of Snohomish, Washington — were not injured, according to the Desert Sun report.
One of the truck drivers had a dog riding with him in the cab. Animal Control officer Gerald Duchene picked up the female dog — a 5-year-old Collie-Chow mix — and took her to the Coachella Valley Animal Campus in Thousand Palms.
Veterinarians examined the dog and said she had not suffered any major injuries, but she was extremely nervous and out-of-sorts because of the trauma.
“We are caring for her in an isolation area, away from our general population, to keep her more calm,” Duchene said.
Here’s hoping she and her owner are quickly reunited in good health.
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