Big rig overturns onto car on 405 Freeway in O.C., injuring 1 and snarling traffic
OAK HILLS, Calif. — The driver of an oversized semi truck nearly collided with a car on Interstate 405 in northern California on Friday, sending a couple inside sprawling on the concrete divider and forcing the freeway to shut down for hours.
The driver of the semi, identified as Robert R. Furlong, 45, of Modesto, fell asleep at the wheel and hit the back of a Honda Civic, according to the Orange County Fire Authority. Furlong was taken into custody by the California Highway Patrol before he was transported to a local hospital.
His truck, according to the authorities, was so overloaded it overturned onto the car and the two passengers inside were injured. They were transported by air to the hospital as the freeway was shut down for most of the day.
The road was reopened Friday evening, though the freeway remains closed.
Furlong is free on suspicion of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
“I didn’t hear a siren or nothing,” said Jennifer Bogan who was in a line of traffic when the accident happened just before 6 p.m. “I saw a lot of smoke and then I heard people shouting.
“I thought it was another wreck maybe,” she said.
But the driver of the Honda who suffered minor injuries told ABC7 he didn’t even know another car had been there.
“I mean, I didn’t really think about it,” said James D. Jones who was headed to work on the 405. “I was just driving. I guess I hit something.”
It was a nightmare scene for the victims. The Honda’s driver, 26-year-old Joseyce Villalobos, was airlifted to O.C. Regional Medical Center. The passenger, 42-year-old Joseph Lee, was treated for minor injuries at the scene.
Both were in critical condition. The extent of their injuries was not immediately known.
The crash shut down the 405 Freeway