The following is a press release issued by the California Highway Patrol Garberville Office:
On October 5, 2021, at approximately 0550 hours, John Camanile was driving a 2016 Volvo Tractor with trailer southbound on US-101, south of Main Street, on the elevated portion of the Willits Bypass at approximately 55 MPH. Eric Acosta was driving a 2019 Peterbilt tractor with a tank trailer loaded with approximately 7,800 gallons of gasoline on northbound US-101 at approximately 55 MPH. Julia Nash was driving a 2021 Toyota Corolla on northbound US-101, approximately three cars lengths behind the Peterbilt
For reasons still under investigation, Campanile allowed his Volvo tractor to cross over the solid double yellow lines and the left side of Volvo struck the left side of the Peterbilt and tank trailer. The force of the impact caused the Peterbilt’s rear trailer axle to be crushed and several metal pieces went into the air which struck the front of the Toyota.
As a result of the crash, the Volvo’s saddle diesel tank ruptured and approximately 50 gallons of diesel spilled onto the roadway. The diesel was contained to the bridge deck and with the assistance of Cal-Trans, the diesel fuel was absorbed and cleaned from the roadway. As a result of the crash, the tank trailer carrying gasoline was damaged however no fuel was leaked from the tank trailer. The tank trailer was ultimately moved off of US-101 to the North Main Street exit where its trailer’s contents were off loaded into a separate tank trailer which responded to the scene.
US-101 at the Willits Bypass was closed for approximately four hours while the scene was investigated, and the involved vehicles were removed from the roadway. Cal-Trans, Long Valley Volunteer Fire Department, Cal Fire, and Mendocino County Environmental Health responded to assist with this investigation.
This collision remains under investigation by the California Highway Patrol – Garberville Area.