STANISLAUS COUNTY — A solo big rig accident in Stanislaus County startled residents early Tuesday morning.
“We were sleeping, we hear the crash, and we just ran,” Erika Gil said.
Just steps from Gil’s front door, she saw a mangled up big rig.
Modesto CHP said at around 7:30 a.m., the truck carrying 40,000 pounds of almonds veered off 99 Northbound, plowed through a fence, and narrowly missed the Ceres Fire station on the corner of Bystrum and Pecos Streets.
The driver told CHP, he had a medical emergency and passed out behind the wheel.
Turlock Irrigation District’s high voltage power boxes were destroyed.
The city of Modesto’s water wells were smashed.
The big rig’s diesel fuel spilled all over.
This made for a dangerous situation, forcing hazmat teams to rush to the scene for clean-up.
“We were lucky enough that the 150 gallons of diesel that was spilled, along with the water mixed with it, was all captured in a retention pond. So there’s no impact to the environment or the drinking water supply,” Captain Jeff Serpa said.
Ceres Fire said this is not the first time something like this has happened. About a decade ago, a mobile home almost came through the building. That is why they now have crash posts around the station.
“Cars and other vehicles have rolled off the freeway. And it impacted other buildings surrounding us,” Captain Serpa said.
“I see a lot of crashes here. I don’t know if the cars don’t want to make a stop, I’m scared,” Gil said.
Luckily, this time, the big rig missed the fire station by less than two feet. No one else was hurt.
“The crew that is normally assigned to the station was actually on a medical aid call. So they were out of the station,” Captain Serpa said.
Still, this was too close of a call for Gil and her family.
“My kids want to move to another neighborhood,” Gil said.
Bystrum Street was closed until Hazmat was able to clean the area.