UPDATE: Ferndale Truck Driver Who Died Mendocino Crash Identified


UPDATE: The Mendocino County Coroner's office has identified the driver as Ronald Machado.


An unidentified Ferndale man driving a Peterbilt logging truck died yesterday after leaving U.S. Highway 101 just north of Leggett and colliding with a tree. The truck was driving northbound when it left its lane and side swiped a Ram pickup being driven by Randell Morgan, of Fortuna, according to a California Highway Patrol press release. It is not known why the truck went over the double yellow lines but it continued across the highway, leaving the west shoulder to collide with a power pole and then a large redwood tree. The name of the driver of the logging truck, a Ferndale man, is being withheld, pending notification of his family. The collision report notes that he was not wearing a seatbelt and that impairment is not believed to be a factor. According to the report, he was trapped in the vehicle and died at the scene.

The Ram pick up also collided with another vehicle, a Honda CR-V, but the drivers of both vehicles were uninjured. A Winco foods truck also collided with the downed power lines. The highway was closed for two and a half hours, opening to one lane traffic control at 4 p.m.

From the Garberville CHP:

On 12/21/2017 , at approximately 1:15 P.M., a 2018 Peterbilt logging truck was being driven northbound on US-101, at a speed of at least 40 miles per hour by driver (name withheld pending notification). At the same time a 2014 Ram 2500 was being driven southbound at approximately 50 miles per hour. For reasons still under investigation, the driver of the Peterbilt allowed his vehicle to cross over the solid double yellow lines and the Peterbilt side swiped the Ram pickup. The Ram pickup continued southbound and due to the damage from the first collision spun out of control and collided with a Honda CR-V that was traveling northbound on US-101. The 2018 Peterbilt continued northbound across the southbound lane and off the west shoulder of US-101. The Peterbilt collided with a power pole. After the collision with the pole, the Peterbilt continued in a northwesterly direction off the descending embankment were the front right collided with a large redwood tree. The driver of the Peterbilt became traped within the vehicle. The Peterbilt came to rest on its wheels approximately 15 feet down the embankment against the tree. As a result of the collision the driver of the Peterbilt sustain fatal injuries. Both the driver of the Ram and Honda were uninjured.

Due to the collision with the power pole both the power and phone lines were down across both lanes of traffic. After the scene had came to rest a Winco foods truck had been traveling southbound and collided into the power lines that were in the roadway causing a separate collision.

Both lanes of traffic were blocked for approximately two and a half hours until the power lines could be removed from the roadway. One lane traffic control was established at approximately 4:00 P.M. Due to the fuel spill from the Peterbilt, county health was notified and Hazmat protocol was established with CHP as incident command. PGE took over one way traffic control at approximately 11:00 P.M. after the Peterbilt was recovered. At approximately 7:00 am on 12/22/2017 traffic was restored to normal.

The cause of the collision remains under investigation by the Garberville CHP, however alcohol impairment is not considered as a factor in the the collision.

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