Paul W. Rivas died at the scene of the collision, which happened around 10:30 a.m., Monday (Jan. 14) on Highway 138, west of 140th Street West, according to a California Highway Patrol report.
Rivas was driving a 2001 Dodge Ram pickup truck eastbound on SR-138 at an undetermined speed, when Rivas allowed his vehicle to drift right onto the south dirt shoulder, the report states.
Rivas overcorrected to the left and ended up in the westbound lane, directly in the path of a 2003 Freightliner 3 axle-dual trailer (big rig), the report states.
The front end of the big rig collided with the front end of the pickup truck, and Rivas sustained fatal injuries, the report states.
The big rig driver, 44-year-old Clarence Bonam of Adelanto, complained of pain to his left leg.
The collision ruptured the big rig’s fuel tanks, releasing about 180 gallons of diesel fuel onto the north dirt shoulder. As a result, Highway 138 was closed for more than six hours in both directions, between 140th Street West and 170th Street West.
Caltrans responded to assist with traffic control and clean up, and Los Angeles County Health Department personnel responded to coordinate and supervise the diesel fuel spill.
The roadway was re-opened around 5:30 p.m. Monday.