A woman was killed in a big-rig crash after her Volkswagen drifted across the center line and was slammed by an oncoming semi truck on Highway 12 in Isleton, about 40 miles southwest of Sacramento.
• A Volkswagen traveling on a rural two-lane highway drifted into oncoming traffic and was hit by a semi truck.
• Both vehicles overturned and tumbled into a ditch next to the highway.
• The Volkswagen driver died at the scene. The truck driver and his passenger were hospitalized with serious injuries.
California Highway Patrol officer Rich Wetzel said a big-rig hauling a full load of Red Bull was traveling westbound on Highway 12 — between Brannan Island and Tower Park Marina — at the time of the crash.
An eastbound Volkswagen drifted across the center line into the westbound lane directly in front of the semi truck, according to a KCRA News report.
The truck did not have time to get out of the way and could not avoid a head-on collision with the Volkswagen, CHP investigators said.
The impact caused both the car and the truck to roll over and tumble into a ditch that runs alongside the rural road.
The woman who was driving the Volkswagen perished in the accident. Paramedics pronounced her dead at the scene, according to an ABC News 10 report. She was later identified as 21-year-old Kirstin Aksnes of Fairfield.
The truck driver and his passenger — whose names were not released at the time of the accident — both sustained serious injuries in the crash.
Emergency responders transported them via ground ambulance to Lodi Memorial Hospital, about 20 miles east of the crash site. Both of them were expected to survive.
Investigators did not know why Aksnes drifted into oncoming traffic. The CHP did not say whether drugs or alcohol were suspected to be a factor in the accident.
Traffic came to a halt on the rural two-lane highway while emergency crews cleared the scene.
The wreckage of the Volkswagen was towed away, but the fully loaded big-rig was completely overturned, so police expected it would take hours to get it turned upright and then tow it from the highway.
Rural Highways are Dangerous
Rural highways can be very dangerous when there are only two lanes. Traffic often travels at full freeway speeds, but there is no physical barrier between oncoming vehicles.
Only 23 percent of the U.S. population lives in rural areas, but 57 percent of all motor vehicle accident fatalities occur on rural roads, according to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA).
The NHTSA’s latest figures show that the fatality rate per vehicle miles traveled was 2.5 times higher in rural areas than in urban areas.
The trial attorneys at Blackman Legal Group, a California-based law firm founded by renowned trial attorney Clifford Blackman, have successfully represented truck accident victims and their families for more than 35 years. The nationwide toll-free number to call for a free consultation is 1-866-692-8126.