Three adults were airlifted to Enloe Medical Center with major injuries after a vehicle collision on Interstate 5 Thursday morning, according to a report from the California Highway Patrol.
A Ford Focus and a large freightliner were involved in the crash.
Manuel Herandez, 27, of Williams was driving the Ford on northbound Interstate 5; his car drifted into the center divide and rolled onto its roof in the southbound lane.
A southbound freightliner immediately collided with the side of the Ford, pushing the car back into the center divide.
The freightliner driver, Rajpreet Johal, was not injured in the collision and was able to drive away after speaking with officers.
Johal told police he was driving the freightliner at 55 mph, and allegedly didn’t have enough time to stop or move away from the Ford.
However, Hernandez and his two occupants – Hermilo Hernandez, 58, and Maria Hernandez, 56 – were immediately flown to the hospital. An update on their condition was not available at the time of publication.
Police are uncertain what caused the driver to lose control of his car, but they ruled out drugs and alcohol, according to a press release. The investigation into this collision is ongoing.
“I can’t confirm, but we thought it might be sleep deprivation because it took place in the early morning,” said Tracy Hoover, public information officer for CHP. “Driving drowsy is similar to driving under the influence, it’s just as dangerous.”
Hoover hopes this incident will encourage drivers to think twice about driving tired; anyone who finds themselves falling asleep while driving is encouraged to pull over to a safe place to take a nap.
“People can always pull into rest stops, but it’s better not to drive at all when you’re tired,” Hoover said.